Board of Directors
President & New Member Coordinator
I embarked on a cross-country road trip from my home state of Connecticut during the 1976 Bicentennial, searching for open spaces, clear air and friendly people. I found Steamboat Springs and the Yampa Valley and have called it home ever since. The nearby wilderness areas – Zirkel, Flat Tops and Sarvis Creek – have been my refuge for solitude, contemplation and renewal. Through Friends of Wilderness, I am given the opportunity to give back and contribute to maintaining the public’s access to these special places. I invite everyone to join us.
Curtis joined Friends of Wilderness in 2015. Having participated in trail maintenance, trail patrol, sign making, llama wrangling and backpacking as well as attending the 2017 Wilderness Academy and earning his crosscut sawyer certification, he still hasn’t found an FOW activity he doesn’t thoroughly enjoy. FOW has been a great way to keep in touch with nature, meet fantastic people, and most importantly help the USFS with the stewardship of our Wilderness Areas.
KEEP WILDERNESS WILD
I have enjoyed being outdoors my entire life – hiking and camping in Michigan and, as a Scout, doing trail maintenance work on the Shawnee Trail in southern Ohio. My first Colorado outdoors experience was visiting RMNP and camping in Mesa Verde National Park. We moved to Steamboat Springs full time in 2017 and I have enjoyed trail work with FOW and hiking in the Mt Zirkel Wilderness – especially on the east side of the Divide. I earned Certification as a Sawyer in 2018.
When I am not in the Forest I enjoy running, bicycling, swimming, skiing, travel, and photography. I have been married to my best friend Leila for 37 years and we have two sons, now grown, who also enjoy the outdoors.
I have enjoyed wilderness hiking and backpacking my entire life. I camped as a child with my family in the mountains of Maryland and Virginia. While attending college in Vermont, I served as an officer in the Middlebury Mountain Club, which sponsored overnight hikes for Middlebury students on the Long Trail and the Appalachian Trail in NH and Maine. Also, during college I spent a summer in Colorado where I was introduced to Colorado hiking by joining a climb up Long’s Peak with the Colorado Mountain Club. In 1989, I purchased a condo in Steamboat. My family and I have been hiking here ever since. In 2014 my late husband, Doug Sprenkle, and I retired full-time to Steamboat and began even more frequent hiking and snowshoeing in the area. In looking for a way to give back to the wilderness areas that have meant so much to me in my life, I found FOW. I joined and earned Ranger Certification in 2017. My professional background is in education, so I particularly enjoy the role of educating the public through the FOW trail patrol program.
Since 1978 when I moved my family to Colorado from Wisconsin, we have enjoyed skiing, hiking, backpacking, biking, fishing, and camping in the Rocky Mountains. Steamboat has been my choice destination for the past 20 years and now retired the opportunity to give back though Friends of the Wilderness. My experience building parts of the Continental Divide Trail is a help. Protecting our forests and wild spaces through stewardship is a lesson I learned as a young kid which I hope I’m passing on.
Laura developed her love of the outdoors during family camping trips across the USA starting when she was in grade school. Since her father was a teacher, she learned a lot about US History too! Living, working, and raising a family in Colorado she and her husband Cary continued to pass the beauty and wonder of nature to their 2 children by skiing, hiking, biking and taking them on backpacking trips in the Mount Zirkel and Flat Tops Wildernesses from an early age. Laura is happy to be a member of Friends of Wilderness and the Board of Directors to work to provide a safe and successful wilderness experience for others.
I have loved the mountains as long as I can remember. Their beauty and majesty provide me energy and peace. Being a member of FOW is the avenue to simultaneously provide enjoyment and service to the community through nature.
I have been a member since 2017. In this time I have made many new friends who have educated me on the surrounding areas, ranges and trails. It is uplifting to share with others the love of the wilderness.