During 2017 Summit County made progress mitigating dredge mining in the Swan River floodplain

Photo credit: Summit Magazine

From Summit County:

The ongoing Swan River Restoration Project logged another successful year of undoing the damage of dredge mining, which took place a century ago. Revegetation work wrapped up in November on more than 30 acres of riparian and upland areas adjacent to the recently restored river. This work was supported by $100,000 in grant funding from Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Colorado Water Conservation Board. OST staff and Rocky Mountain Youth Corps assisted in planting thousands of willows, upland shrubs and mature trees across the site. Gravel removal commenced upstream of the recently restored section of the Swan River, with over 70,000 tons of material leaving the site.

“We estimate that this is roughly one-quarter of the total material that needs to be removed before the next phase of stream channel restoration work can begin,” Lederer said. “The contractor also imported about 8,500 cubic yards of soil, which will be critical for completing riparian and upland restoration.”

Gravel removal operations have ceased for the winter and will resume in 2018. The Swan River Restoration Project is occurring in collaboration with numerous partners, including the Town of Breckenridge and the U.S. Forest Service. Additional information is available at http://www.RestoreTheSwanRiver.com and http://www.SummitCountyCO.gov/SwanRiverBlog.

Summit County’s abandoned-mine cleanup efforts in the Peru Creek drainage took another step forward in 2017. On the heels of a successful multi-year effort at the Pennsylvania Mine, Summit County coordinated with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to address contaminated water draining from the Jumbo Mine into Peru Creek, a major tributary to the Snake River above Keystone. Summit County purchased the land surrounding the abandoned Jumbo Mine in early 2016 for public open space, setting the stage for EPA’s cleanup work. OST also facilitated efforts to reclaim two settling ponds near the Wellington Neighborhood in Breckenridge, to improve safety and aesthetics and create a transit bus turnaround.

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