142 Vail Resorts Volunteers Make
2012 Hayman Projects a Huge Success

A HUGE thank you to the record-breaking 142 Vail Resorts employees who participated in four Hayman Fire restoration projects during the summer of 2012. Their hard work marks the culmination of VR's three-year partnership with the National Forest Foundation (NFF) and the U.S. Forest Service to restore land devastated by Colorado's largest wildfire.

"This partnership is an example of the power of channeling resources and working together on a critical conservation project," said Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz. "Through private-public partnerships, we can make our forests more resilient, protect our water resources and improve forest health." To date, this partnership has resulted in:

  • $4 million contributed
  • 1 million trees planted
  • 17,000 acres seeded
  • 450 green jobs for Colorado youth
  • A unified vision for a healthy forest

Watch volunteers in action HERE.  

Two Vail Resorts Hayman volunteers lay jute matting to prevent a hillside from eroding.

A Colorado Mountain Express volunteer plants a Ponderosa Pine during a2012 Hayman Restoration project.

Outcomes from the 2012 Hayman Restoration Projects:

  • More than 1.5 miles of riparian area restored using 7,500 square feet of erosion control jute matting and native seed
  • 2,000 native willows harvested, processed and planted
  • 1,200 Ponderosa Pine trees planted on 15 acres of burned slopes
  • More than 1,100 hours of volunteer time by 142 Vail Resorts employees
  • Three small Band-Aids
  • And one daylight meteor sighting!

Volunteers plant native willows in the burn area. Saplings that were planted in early June already had leaves growing on them in early July.

A Word from the Volunteers

"I can't believe it's been 10 years since the fire. Gauging the changes in the landscape proves how damaged it was and how far it's come. It's amazing to be part of restoring vitality to devastation."
Darlene Menard, Breck Hospitality 

"Participating in the restoration 10 years later is pretty special. We are making a difference in our water quality for Colorado. It's awesome to see how much change people can make when they work together."
Kate Lessman, Corporate Communications


"During the fire, I wondered how the forest would ever recover. We do all of our rides in the national forest, so its health is key. It's rewarding to see how individual efforts make a larger impact. The forest will come back." Jeff Procter, Keystone Resort Stables

"I use the water from the Hayman watershed in Denver. It's important for those of us who use the water to give back. I hoped to make life a bit better for those downstream." Jean Mortensen, Specialty Sports Venture

"The first year we came out here was abysmal. There was no green anywhere, no grass or bushes. Only charred trees. This year was a big change. There is grass coming up and bushes all around. It's very inspiring and rewarding to see." Amy Russo, Breck Hospitality Catering

"It means so much to be a Colorado native participating in this restoration. I genuinely want to help protect this beautiful state so others can enjoy it for years to come." Jody Plucheck, Keystone Hospitality 

"I was not in CO when the fire happened but still seeing the destruction 10 years later is amazing. It's great that Vail is committed to bring back the pristine environment and play a part in maintaining the largest watershed for the Front Range." John Faust, Eagle County Food & Beverage

The Hayman Burn Site before restoration

The Hayman Burn Site after restoration



Vail Resorts Photos