Friends of the Peak tend to be doers more than talkers. The annual schedule of projects attests to that. We build trails, we maintain trails, we close social trails, we restore eroded areas. But in all that, we’re trying to be good stewards of the natural environment on Pikes Peak. Building trails, which entails cutting down trees, clearing plants, exposing soil, seems almost contrary to that. But getting people out into nature builds appreciation for all nature offers, which leads people to want to protect it. If people are using an area anyway, routing all, or most of, that use on one, sustainable, trail reduces the wear in the area. Maintaining trails helps reduce erosion, and keeps trails usable, providing the benefits of enjoying nature. Our advocacy tends to express itself in action more than in words. When we see a problem, we don’t just point it out, we offer to help fix it, and, if the offer is accepted, do it.
But sometimes words are necessary. Sometimes an issue arises. Sometimes we notice a problem that is beyond our abilities or scope. Then we try to be good stewards by evaluating environmental effects, not to exclude human use, but to balance the two, perhaps with something of a bias toward the environment. Because of our partnerships, working in cooperation with agencies, organizations tend to listen to us. So we can use all that trail work we’ve done to make our voices better heard when necessary.
Perhaps FOTP Vice President Paul Mead summarized it best: "We try to minimize human impact while maximizing human enjoyment."