Pagosa Springs’ Troop F of the Colorado Mounted Rangers is the beneficiary of a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture — funding that will help the group with equipment costs and cooperative efforts with local search and rescue and law enforcement agencies.
USDA State Director Jim Isgar presented the Troop with a Rural Development Grant in the amount of $15,300 at a ceremony May 12 at Troop F’s headquarters on San Juan Street.
The funding will help the troop purchase new equipment that will aid in “search and rescue, missing child, security, and traffic control operations,” according to a release from the troop.
Among the equipment to be purchased with the grant funding are:
• Radios that meet 2013 technology requirements;
• A new UTV and trailer to allow Rangers to deploy motorized teams for backcountry search and rescue operations;
• First aid and backcountry shelters for Ranger horseback patrol and rescue operations; and
• Additional equipment for nighttime operations, river rescues, traffic control and accident scene safety.
Rangers from Troop F learned about the grant opportunity at Rural Philanthropy Days last June, when they met Duane Dale of the USDA’s Rural Development Center in Cortez.
Colorado Mounted Rangers is the oldest law enforcement organization in Colorado (founded in 1861).
According to grant documents, Troop F is one of seven troops of the Colorado Mounted Rangers, a nonprofit organization.
In 2008, Troop F volunteered 1,300 hours in callouts and, in 2009, Rangers volunteered 1,520 hours, according to the grant.
Support for the Rural Development Grant came from a variety of local agencies helped by the Mounted Rangers — Archuleta County, Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office, ACSO’s Office of Emergency Management, the Town of Pagosa Springs, Pagosa Springs Police Department and several nongovernmental agencies.
Additionally, in the last year Troop F has received grants from the El Pomar Foundation, LPEA Roundup Foundation and the Community Foundation for Southwest Colorado.