Update on CMCTU efforts in and around Bear Creek
See our video, Dream of Greenbacks on the Bear creek greenbacks and their journey home to the South Platte Drainage.
This video created during July and August of 2015 highlights the story of the Bear Creek Greenbacks…
(This video was created by Colton Gully under a 2015 Colorado TU Leo Gomolchak Conservation Grant Program (GOMO grant). The grant is named for Leo Gomolchak, a tireless advocate for cold water conservation in Colorado and a leader in CTU, who passed away in 2007. He also was one of the founding members of CMCTU. This article was originally posted at ColoradoTU.org website on September 8th, 2015.)
Bear Creek and its greenbacks ROCK…., and unfortunately due to sedimentation the ‘rocks’ are way too small. The effects of the Pike’s Peak Granite on the trout can be seen in our video during the heavy spring run-off during May 2015 . This video was taken adjacent to High Drive.
The primary source of sediment into Bear Creek is erosion of High Drive in the area circled on the topographic map to the right and shown in the two photographs below. While this area has been a long term problem, it was made worse during the floods of 2013. As a result of the 2013 floods Colorado Springs Parks City Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services received grants from FEMA to repair High Drive and to construct sediment mitigation features. The primary area of emphasis for the FEMA work is in the area circled on the topographic map. This repair work started in the fall of 2014 and will be finished in the summer of 2015. The sediment mitigation work is to be started and completed in the fall of 2015. This FEMA work is being conducted essentially independent of the Bear Creek NEPA process because FEMA has a ‘streamlined’ environmental access process.
The USDA Forest Service, Pikes Peak Ranger District, have prepared an environmental assessment (EA) and final decision notice for the Bear Creek Watershed Restoration Project. The decision provides the implementation of Alternative B, the Action, which includes changes to travel management and recreation activities, and stream habitat improvement actions. The EA, draft decision notice and other information are available at the Forest’s website: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/psicc/home/?cid=STELPRDB5397304
The most recent set of documents found on the site defining the path toward protecting Bear Creek and the greenbacks are:
- ‘Bear Creek Watershed Restoration Final Decision and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)’
- ‘Bear Creek Watershed Restoration Environmental Assessment’
It is extremely important to note that there are currently no funded efforts to remove existing sediment build up from the stream! In addition there are no funds to address greenback habitat, in or out of the stream, in Jones Park.