Rocky Mountain National Park: The Park Service intends to repair Lily Lake Dam

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From the Fort Collins Coloradoan (Kevin Duggan):

Park superintendent Vaughan Baker said a contractual requirement that the park retain the water rights assigned to the lake and maintain the dam forced the decision to repair the aging structure rather than remove it. “It turns out we are legally obligated to keep it,” Baker said in an interview Tuesday.

The decision is tentative based on the outcome of final consultations with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Baker said. The lake is stocked with greenback cutthroat trout, which is a native but threatened species. Repairing the dam is expected to cost more than $800,000. Construction is expected to begin in the fall…

Lily Lake was a natural lake before a dam was built on its eastern edge in 1915. The dam raised the lake’s water level about 4 feet, increased its surface area from 14 acres to 17 and increased its capacity from about 39 acre feet of water to 75. The lake was added to the park in 1991 after it was acquired and saved from development by the Conservation Fund in 1989. The park acquired water rights for the lake about 10 years ago. An agreement with the Estes Valley Land Trust requires the park to retain the water rights and maintain the dam in perpetuity, Baker said.

More Rocky Mountain National Park coverage here and here.

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