Dr. Ellen Wohl’s book Virtual Rivers: Lessons from the Mountain Rivers of the Colorado Front Range looks at Front Range Creeks currently and tries to reconstruct the past, before the influences of humankind, primarily logging, mining and water diversions. At the recent Clear Creek Watershed Festival history was front and center as well. Here’s a report from Ian Neligh writing for the Clear Creek Courant. From the article:
The festival was hosted by the Clear Creek Watershed Foundation, which dedicates itself to improving the ecological, recreational and economic conditions in the Clear Creek Watershed. The festival educates by offering fun activities as educators look at pieces of the watershed, thereby teaching visitors about the watershed in its entirety…
“This is part of Colorado’s tradition. This is part of our culture. Colorado would not be Colorado, Idaho Springs would not be here, Denver would not be there (if gold hadn’t been found),” Long said.
Down several educational booths, Deb Zack with the Department of Natural Resources Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety talked with people about the side effects of mining. “We’re here to support the local efforts to educate the public about the hazards of abandoned mines and trying to get the word out about what we do,” Zack said. She and others in her department look for grant money to mitigate abandoned mines on people’s property and to close them off as a free service. “Honestly I work in this area, reclaiming abandoned mines, so I’m interested in meeting a lot of the people who are my neighbors — and people out here know their land better than I ever could,” Zack said.
More Clear Creek watershed coverage here.