Greenback Backers consist largely of volunteers from the Alpine Anglers (the local chapter of Trout Unlimited). They assist in greenback cutthroat trout recovery in the park. The greenback cutthroat trout is a federally-listed threatened species, which the park is trying to reintroduce. Non-natives like brook and brown trout displace greenbacks, while rainbow and non-native cutthroat sub-species hybridize with greenbacks in their native waters. In 2004, the Alpine Anglers received a national award from Trout Unlimited for their work in Rocky Mountain National Park.
The Greenback Backers assist with fisheries management in the park through field work and an information campaign. The Greenback Backers help to patrol the shores of Lily Lake, check for licenses and barbless hooks, and make public contacts about the greenback and its recovery in the park. Greenback Backers also assist the US Fish and Wildlife Service on greenback and Colorado River cutthroat recovery. They help a field biologist collect eggs and milt, survey habitat and populations, and collect tissue samples for genetic testing. Each year, about ten volunteers provide more than 1000 hours to the park on the public information and recovery efforts.
Greenback Backers also provide the public with information. They paid for interpretive signs at Lily Lake, printed and distribute fish identification cards featuring the greenback and Colorado cutthroats, and distribute the special angling regulations. They promote native trout restoration statewide through bumper stickers heralding the native's comeback from near extinction.
Special thanks to Austin Condon, President Alpine Anglers, Chris Kennedy, Biologist US Fish & Wildlife Service, and Tim Stangl, RMNP Volunteer office.