Aerial view of the NFCR with pins marking 2022 monitoring locations.

2022: Monitoring and Restoration in the North Fork of the Colorado River

UCRWG is targeting the North Fork of the Colorado River (NFCR) for some much-needed monitoring and restoration work in 2022, through a generous grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment (CDPHE).

Heavily impacted by the 2020 East Troublesome wildfire, the NFCR feeds into Shadow Mountain Reservoir and is a critical piece of watershed health in the Upper Colorado River basin.

Funded through CDPHE’s Nonpoint Source Pollution Management Program, project goals include:

1. Creating a baseline of current hydrogeological (ground water) conditions in the NFCR. Local Principal Scientist Tiffany Gatesman of Gatesman Environmental Consulting and Engineering will be conducting sampling and analysis at four different locations along the North Fork this summer to monitor water quality. This will help us to understand what sort of challenges the North Fork is currently facing and how to design targeted restoration projects to address watershed needs.

2. Implementing restoration projects based on preliminary monitoring. We teamed up with Grand Environmental Services to design and implement science-based restoration projects to improve water quality. We are working with a number of private landowners impacted by the East Troublesome Fire on targeted restoration projects, including:

–  Erecting wildlife fencing to protect new plant growth

–  Planting willow to stabilize streambanks

–  Spreading mulch on severely burned soil: CLICK HERE for an interactive map on soil burn severity.

3. Analyzing the downstream impacts of restoration projects on watershed health to ensure that we’re taking the right approach.

 Are you a landowner with a project? We’d love to help! Contact us at info@ucrwg.org to find out how we can help you with watershed restoration.