Our very successful 2017 event to revegetate a portion of the Fraser is being repeated in 2018 in a nearby area. Ranch Creek is a major tributary to the upper Fraser. For years, the banks of Ranch Creek have been devastated by grazing. The result has been erosion and high water temperatures too warm for trout. Now that the area is under new ownership (Devil's Thumb Ranch) and is properly fenced, we have the opportunity to restore it.
Like last year, we'll harvest willow stakes on May 19 and care for them while they sprout. Planting of the sprouted willows will be on June 2 and 3, 2018. The poster for this year's event is below. We need volunteers for all three of those days! The official signup form is available by clicking here.
This year's project will be on Ranch Creek on land owned by Devil's Thumb Ranch. This section of Ranch Creek is on the CDPHE 303d list for high water temperatures, so improving shading of the Creek is important. The area also lacks riparian plants and our efforts will help to improve these problems. The area is already fenced to keep cattle out and prevent future grazing.
Check out our new poster below for this event!
The official signup form is available by clicking here.
The River Restoration Has Begun!
SUNDAY, MAY 21, 2017 UPDATE:
AFTER TWO SUCCESSFUL DAYS PLANTING WILLOWS, THIS PHASE OF THE FRASER FLATS RIVER RESTORATION IS COMPLETE!
To see photos from all three days of the event, click here.
THANKS SO MUCH TO ALL OUR VOLUNTEERS FROM SATURDAY AND SUNDAY! THE SNOW STORM OF THE PAST FEW DAYS MADE US VERY NERVOUS, BUT WE HAD A VERY PRODUCTIVE WEEKEND. WE WRAPPED UP OUR WILLOW PLANTING PROJECT FOR THE SPRING.
We want to express our sincere thanks to these local businesses and individuals for helping make the event such a success:
To Devil's Thumb Ranch and the Winter Park Flyfisher for providing waders for our volunteers to use.
To Mike Turner for filming video including drone footage. We look forward to seeing the result on TV18!
To O'Dell Brewing for providing their wonderful beer to our volunteers after each day's work was done on May 20 and 21.
To Jerry Nissen for the still photos.
Special thanks to TU Board Member Anna Drexler-Dreis for organizing this multi-day river restoration event!
Many thanks to our 150 volunteers from May 6, 20 and 21!!!
After years of fundraising, negotiation, planning and preparation, we’ve actually done some work on the ground and in the water. Our original plan was to gather willows on Earth Day in April, but we pushed the date back to May 6 due to our snowpack. To see photos from all three days of the event, click here. We're using a new photo gallery starting on May 20, so if you encounter a problem with the link, please email your webmaster by clicking here.)
Our TU chapter has begun the process of revegetating a portion of the Fraser River in the area commonly known as the Fraser Flats. Our team of 150 amazing volunteers harvested, trimmed and planted 4,000 willow cuttings.
The area in which they've been planted was "improved" by channel straightening (to make the logs flow downstream faster) and cattle grazing around 100 years ago. Today, we're working to recreate a more natural, fish-friendly, ecologically-sound, sustainable riparian environment. Our first step was the replanting of our 4,000 sprouted willows along the banks of the Fraser. We didn't plant any of our volunteers.
Once established, the willows will improve shading to decrease stream temperatures (making the water more fish-friendly), reduce erosion and help begin to restore the riparian zone. We’ll help return these areas closer to their original pre-grazing/log transportation condition. For more about our effort, follow this link to the February 24, 2017 Sky Hi News article.
We are incredibly excited about our first project that actually improves our rivers here in Grand County! We're delighted to be moving from the "creating awareness/activist" phase to the actual "making good things happen" phase!
Watch The Videos To Learn More About The Project
The latest video on the project premiered at the Trout Unlimited Banquet on July 24, 2017. Many thanks to Mike Turner of Grand County TV18 for producing this excellent 5 1/2 minute video showing how far we've come on our progress to save the Fraser and Upper Colorado. Click here to see the video.
Local TU chapter president Kirk Klancke and board member Anna Drexler-Dreis were featured in an interview on Grand County TV18 in the Good Morning Winter Park show. You can see the video by clicking here. They talked about our upcoming willow cutting/planting event to begin restoration on a 0.9 mile segment of the Fraser River upstream from the Devil's Thumb turnoff of Highway 40 at CR 83. We're excited that this will be our first "on the ground and in the river" restoration project! Kirk and Anna touched on other water-related topics as well.
For details about our river restoration efforts or to volunteer to help harvest and plant willows along the Fraser on May 6, 20 or 21, scroll up to the "TU Spring Volunteer Form" just above here. You'll find an additional source of information about the process at http://www.grandcountylearningbydoing.org/
For details about our river restoration efforts or to volunteer to help harvest and plant willows along the Fraser on May 6, 20 or 21, scroll down to the "TU Spring Volunteer Form" just below here. You'll find an additional source of information about the process at http://www.grandcountylearningbydoing.org/