Board of Directors
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 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.
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.
Since my dad was a geologist by profession and a naturalist at heart, I grew up camping and hiking with my family in Colorado and the western U.S. I continued this tradition with my husband, Howard, and our two children, who now also enjoy outdoor adventures with their families. Although I lived and taught science in the southeastern California desert for many years, I was fortunate enough to spend a number of summer and winter vacations in Steamboat Springs. In 2019, I achieved a long-time goal of retiring fulltime to Steamboat. Since joining FOW in 2004, I have participated in trail patrol (including via horseback), trail maintenance, and llama training.
Our magnificent mountains have always been a source of serenity and wonder for me, and now, year-round recreation; this includes hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, alpine and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and photography. I welcome the opportunity to both enjoy and support our spectacular outdoors through Friends of Wilderness.
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.
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.
Melanie grew up camping in the Ozarks and Ouachitas and fell in love with the mountains of Colorado on family ski trips. It took forty years before she could call Colorado home, but it was worth the wait. Along the way, Melanie called Flagstaff, AZ and Escalante, UT home. Having the good fortune to be surrounded by beautiful landscapes, she backpacked, biked, hiked and rafted through the high deserts and forests of the mountain west. Melanie joined Friends of Wilderness to learn more about the public lands around Steamboat. She got that plus learning tree cutting skills, meeting interesting people and having loads of fun. Melanie is excited to be on the board and when not cursing at her computer, she can be found outside on the trails hiking, biking and skiing.