COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – As the first and only Fourteener Program Manager for the U.S. Forest Service, Loretta McEllhiney has single-handedly designed nearly every sustainable summit trail that exists on Colorado’s Fourteeners, the 58 mountain peaks that reach more than 14,000 feet in altitude at the summit. This year, at the ninth annual Southern Colorado Conservation Awards (SCCA), McEllhiney will receive the Environmental Stewardship award for her contributions to the state.
McEllhiney combines her highly-specialized knowledge of high alpine environments, sustainable trail design techniques, weather, and safety in the design of routes that hundreds of thousands of hikers enjoy every year. Every single hiker and user of Colorado’s major peaks benefit from her work, most without even realizing her contribution or sacrifice. She has played a major role in protecting and conserving countless acres of fragile alpine tundra and other critical natural resources indicative of high alpine environments. Her thoughtful trail design has provided a much-needed balance between use and sustainability.
McEllhiney’s accomplishments and contributions are paramount to maintaining these iconic and treasured landscapes, both for today and the future. A short film will be made about her contribution to Colorado’s wilderness. The film and award will be presented at SCCA on October 3, 2018, at The Antlers Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
About the Southern Colorado Conservation Awards
SCCA is the premier awards event for conservation in southern Colorado. Since the first award ceremony was held in 2009, this event has brought attention to the hard work, the discipline, the sacrifice, and the impact of conservation work by recognizing the efforts of individuals and organizations who prioritize the identity, economy, and quality of life we expect in Colorado. Over the course of nine years, community and state-level leaders, non-profits, and national organizations have attended to honor the people who press Colorado forward by working to maintain our landscape, our biodiversity, and our farming and ranching communities. Those recognized ensure every generation has the opportunity to enjoy the Colorado we know and love.