Trail Creek restoration project underway, cost set at $4.5 million


From The Denver Post (Bruce Finley):

The project launched this week by foresters and private-sector partners will try to rework the altered flow of Trail Creek to make it more natural. For Fort Collins-based hydrologist Dave Rosgen, this also is a chance to demonstrate techniques increasingly in demand worldwide…

“This is how Mother Nature does it,” he said Friday, describing his plan to stabilize what has become a sluice for corrosive sediment. The steep banks will first be reshaped, and fallen tree trunks will be used to reinforce the new channel. Then, the stream bed will be raised by about 7 feet so water carrying sediment disperses into a willow studded plane instead of racing down stream. “We’re going to basically go back in here and re-establish a braided, meandering channel,” Rosgen, 69, told a gathering of county and federal employees…

Rosgen has developed formulas for calculating rates of erosion, enabling detailed analysis of mountain slopes, fire impact and hydrology. His team at Wildland Hydrology Inc. has restored dozens of damaged streams in Argentina, Costa Rica, Tanzania and around the western United States.

Ever since the Hayman fire, heavy rains have led to increasingly severe flooding across the scorched burn area. Foresters and volunteers have tried to address this, planting 3.5 million tree seedlings. “But it seems that 137,000 acres doesn’t heal as quickly as we’d like it to,” said Pikes Peak District Ranger Brent Botts.

More restoration coverage here.

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