The Blue River Watershed Group, in conjunction with the U.S. Forest Service and supported by the Colorado Water Conservation Board, the National Forest Foundation, Climax Molybdenum Company and Copper Mountain Resort, has been working on restoring a crucial part of Tenmile Creek to a more natural state.
Restoration activities include stream and floodplain restoration, soil amendment, wetlands creation and revegetation on a heavily impacted section of the creek. The area was heavily impacted by historic mining, timber harvest, ski area development, and railroad and highway construction. Phase One construction occurred in late summer and fall of 2013, with additional revegetation in the spring of 2014. Approximately 1600 linear feet of stream channel was restored in Phase One, including five new meander bends and five new oxbow wetland features. These two pictures show two different views of a part of the reconstructed channel taken in 2014 after the revegetation effort.
Runoff in the spring of 2014 was unusually high and resulted in some damage to the new stream channel.. With the support of Copper Mountain Resort we repaired the damaged channel. Restoration projects nearly always take some time to stabilize and for the revegetation to take hold.
Later this year we will begin construction of Phase Two, the next 1200 feet of stream down to the new bicycle bridge across Tenmile Creek. Field construction is scheduled to start in August. We learned many lessons during Phase One that we’ll apply to Phase Two.
Working again with the Forest Service, we are fortunate to have continued funding from our partners in Phase One for Phase Two. Without their support this project would not be possible.