South Platte River basin ‘Happy Meadows Restoration Project’ included private dam removal


From the Pikes Peak Courier View (Norma Engelberg):

“When we realized the scope of the problem, the project morphed,” said CUSP Operations Director Jonathan Bruno. “There was this interesting (river) diversion downstream on private land that was creating a huge sedimentary plume upstream.” Negotiations with the Sportsmen’s Paradise Homeowners Association began in 2007 and, after four years, the small dam was finally removed Sept. 12…

The dam wasn’t the only issue, however. The river is also impacted by runoff from the 2002 Hayman Fire and by road runoff. “You can see the (alluvial) fans on the side of the river from the roads,” Bruno said. “We’ll be rebuilding vegetative buffers between the road and the river.”[…]

The river improvement project has three goals: improve the physical river channel and trout habitat; restore riparian habitat at Happy Meadows Campground; and provide findings and techniques that can be used on other impaired stream segments…

As part of the work to remove the dam, planners had to replace the diversion with something that wouldn’t allow sediment build up. “They (the homeowners association) still have water rights,” Bruno said. “The new diversion allows water to go to a big pond without backing up sediment.” The preliminary work also involved stockpiling native rocks and local timbers…

After dam removal, crews quickly moved in to begin narrowing the river channel to 45-60 feet — it had been reaching up to 120 feet wide in some places.

More restoration coverage here.

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