Wed Jan 22nd, 2014
Southern Ute Drum
Tags: Beaver Creek, County Road 524, EPD, Ignacio, La Plata County, Pete Nylander, Southern Ute Environmental Programs Division, stream restoration project, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Water Resources Division
The Southern Ute Environmental Programs Division and Water Resources Division teamed up this week to finish a stream restoration project on Beaver Creek north of Ignacio, which will slow erosion along tribal land.
It was critical to finish the project near La Plata County Road 524 before the inevitably approaching spring runoff, said Senior Water Specialist Pete Nylander. If the creek were not repaired, the increased flow of water downstream would have torn up the stream floor and caused banks to recede further into tribal land, he said.
“It’s a long process,” Nylander said, referring to the process of obtaining funding for the project from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other sources.
Most stream restoration projects take years due to required paperwork and time spent waiting for grants, he said. But Water Resources and EPD were able to team up and fix the damage before flood season became an issue.
“It really saved us,” Nylander said, noting the successful collaboration between the two divisions. Water Resources provided the equipment and supplies needed to complete the project.
The EPD has completed 10 stream restorations on the reservation since 1999, and works toward completing one a year, Nylander said. In addition to mitigating erosion, the division also aims to improve the water quality in local streams and rivers.
The same section of Beaver Creek received maintenance in 2010. But the work done on the stream was partially destroyed during last fall’s heavy rainfall.