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Volunteers help Flying W Ranch and surrounding areas

Volunteers help Flying W Ranch and surrounding areas

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - About 50 volunteers gathered at the Flying W Ranch on Friday to mitigate flooding and repair fire damage.

"It's a landmark in our community," said Gail McCormick, a volunteer. "It's important. There's a lot of us that want to volunteer."

The Coalition for the Upper South Platte (CUSP) and other groups organized the volunteer rehabilition effort. And Flying W Ranch owner Leigh Ann Wolfe says she's grateful.

"They're here to help," she said. "They want to help and I'm thankful for every single one of them out here today."

With hard hats on and shovels in hand, volunteers did everything from spreading mulch to chopping and laying down logs. But their efforts aren't only to help the ranch. Because of the fire, the surrounding area is at risk for erosion and mudslides, which could impact homes and threaten the city's water supply.

Volunteers hope their work can help lessen the impact.

"We need to help restore this land and we're here to show people that this is something that volunteers can do," said Jonathan Bruno, CUSP Operations Director. "It's not the hardest work, it's not the most technical work. And we all need to come together and do what we can to restore the land impacted by that fire."

As for the re-opening of Flying W Ranch, Wolfe says it's too early to tell. First comes stabilizing the mountain.

"If we can't figure out how to stabilize that upper mountain, we wouldn't even consider rebuilding," she said.

To volunteer for future rehabilitation efforts, go to http://waldofire.org/

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