Carl R. Bauer, Pikes Peak District Ranger
Pike and San Isabel National Forests, Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands
Carl Bauer is returning to the Pike and San Isabel National Forests as the Pikes Peak District Ranger after leaving nine years ago for a coast to coast tour. He left Colorado to be the Deputy District Ranger on the Siuslaw National Forest, Oregon Coast National Recreation Area for three years. Last May, he returned from being the District Ranger on the Ocala National Forest, just north of Orlando, FL for about six years. He considers himself a transplanted Midwesterner, having attended high school and Purdue University in Indiana. He credits his love for the outdoors being raised in Virginia, backpacking, white water canoeing, and hiking with family and friends. Working for the Forest Service was always Plan A, instilled in him while participating on annual 18 day backpacking trips every summer out west, including Colorado, as part of his high school Environmental Sciences classes.
He volunteered after his college freshmen year to be a Wilderness Ranger on the White River National Forest. He worked summers throughout college in Colorado for the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM). He graduated and worked as a River Ranger for the BLM in the early planning stages creating the Arkansas River Management Plan in the 1990s. He also was exposed to working with partners in creating the Gold Belt National Byway Management Plan. This experience instilled his belief that the Forest Service is at its best when working with partners.
The main priority on the Pikes Peak Ranger District is implementing the US Forest Service’s Wildfire Crisis Strategy. The Pike National Forest is one of 21 national forests selected to receive additional funding and support to develop a strategy to better protect nearby communities within the Pikes Peak Ranger District. The idea is to manipulate the vegetation, using a variety of mechanical tools and prescribed fire to help make these ecosystems more wildfire resilient, make the surrounding infrastructure (water supply, utilities) more wildfire resilient, along with making our communities more wildfire resilient. Over one hundred years of fire suppression has left an unnatural large amount of fuels on the ground and over stocked, dense timber stands that will burn intensely, damaging the soil, if not thinned out and burned periodically. Partners and the public will continue to play an important role in planning/implementing the Wildfire Crisis Strategy.
The Pikes Peak Ranger District is a busy place, near a large population, with lots of demands being asked of it. Recreation continues to be an ever-increasing workload that relies heavily on partners to help manage. The local atmosphere, the public’s love for the outdoors and the resulting multiple volunteer organizations around this area, are a major source of energy for Carl and his staff. Focus on the Forest is a huge help in removing tons of trash and abandoned vehicles/property from the forest. Last year, our partners and volunteers contributed over 15,000 volunteer hours on the Pikes Peak Ranger District, the second most volunteer hours in Colorado, Wyoming, and South Dakota.
Chris Lieber, Principal and Co-Owner
Chris is a Principal and Co-owner of N.E.S. Inc, a leading Planning and Landscape Architecture firm, in Colorado Springs. His leadership and creativity can be seen and experienced across many park and open space projects throughout the Pikes Peak Region such as the Outdoor Pikes Peak Initiative, the COS Creek Plan, and the Ring the Peak Master Plan. Prior to his time at N.E.S. Inc., Chris led the Colorado Springs Trails, Open Space, and Parks (TOPS) Program for nearly two decades. He enjoys working alongside community stakeholders to balance conservation, recreation and economic interests while seeking long term sustainable outcomes for the spaces and places that make our region special.
Becky Leinweber, Executive Director
Pikes Peak Outdoor Recreation Alliance
Becky Leinweber serves as Executive Director of Pikes Peak Outdoor Recreation Alliance (PPORA), whose mission is to strengthen the outdoor recreation industry for the Pikes Peak region through leadership and collaboration. PPORA was awarded the Stewardship Partner of the Year in 2022 by the Rocky Mountain Field Institute, was selected as a Colorado Outdoor Regional Partner in 2021, and was awarded the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Partner of the Year Award for the Southeast Region in 2020. Becky was recognized as a COS CEO by the Colorado Springs Business Journal in 2022 and as a Woman of Worth and recipient of the 2018 Spirit of Tourism Award from Visit Colorado Springs.
She also co-owns Angler’s Covey in Colorado Springs with her husband, David, where she instructs women’s fly fishing classes and camps and founded and co-leads Pikes Peak Women Anglers, a local fly fishing club.