Coyote Gulch's Colorado Water
The health of our waters is the principal measure of how we live on the land. -- Luna Leopold

Project Healing Waters

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Monday, November 10, 2008

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From the Lamar Ledger (Aaron Burnett): "Exotic beetles, helicopter chemical applications, men with chain saws and grinders. Under most circumstances, these items would appear to have little in common, but in the battle to eradicate tamarisk, also known as salt cedar, from the Arkansas Valley, each approach has been taken in recent years.

"On Thursday, the Prowers County Commissioners heard from representatives of the Southeast Colorado Water Conservancy District and the Natural Resource Conservation Service about proposed tamarisk removal projects along the Arkansas River near the Kansas border. Jean Van Pelt, conservation outreach coordinator for the district, discussed the recent implementation of a plan in Kansas in which approximately 300 acres of tamarisk stands were sprayed. She said in light of Kansas' recent interest in tamarisk control, a project along the state line might bode well in fostering cooperation in future federally funded projects."

Thanks to the Water Information Program for the link. More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Category: Colorado Water
6:59:48 PM    

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From The Chaffee County Times (Kathy Davis): "Buena Vista Trustees decided to ask town water attorney Cynthia Covell to look at a proposal for The Town's participation in a water study. During the trustees regular meeting Oct. 28, county engineer Don Reimer outlined the proposal and asked for a letter of support and funds from the town in the amount of $1,500 to help pay for the development of a water study on water sources, what is available and how it is used. An Arkansas Headwaters Region water budget study seeks to quantify what flows in, what flows out and what falls on the ground, he said. It is contingent on a $126,000 grant, he said. It is a United States Geological Society study with assistance from The Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District."

Thanks to the Water Information Program for the link.

Category: Colorado Water
6:53:07 PM    

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From the Denver Post (Mark Jaffe): "The proposed rule to manage Colorado's 4.1 million acres of roadless forests raises 'potentially higher risks' for wildlife and fisheries, according to a federal analysis. The U.S. Forest Service's draft environmental-impact statement on the rule estimates there could be higher risks for wildlife in 118 of the 345 roadless areas in the state. Natural fisheries in 44 roadless areas would also face potentially higher risks compared with a more protective rule, according to the environmental assessment. 'These areas are vital to preserving a natural resource and what is left of Colorado as it was 100 years ago,' said Chris Hunt, a spokesman for Trout Unlimited, a national conservation group."

Thanks to Colorado Trout Unlimited for the link.

Category: Colorado Water
6:43:29 PM    

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Here's Part II of the Pagosa Daily Post's series, A New Bather in the Geothermal Pool? written by Bill Hudson.

Category: Colorado Water
6:33:31 PM    

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From the Grand Junction Free Press: "Coloradans may expect to see significant changes in how the Bureau of Land Management oversees drilling on federal lands in a future Barack Obama presidential administration, Sen. Ken Salazar said last week. The senator also seemed to dismiss speculation that he might accept a position as head of the U.S. Department of the Interior, calling the possibility 'highly doubtful. Representing my state of Colorado as a United States senator is a blessing and a privilege, and I believe my work has just begun,' said Salazar, adding that he would make sure the Obama transition team considers a Westerner to be the head of the Interior Department."

Category: 2008 Presidential Election
6:30:30 PM    

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From the Steamboat Pilot & Today (Blythe Terrell): "Steamboat Springs' commercial water and wastewater rates are likely to increase along with residential rates.

"The Steamboat Springs City Council approved a first reading last week of a measure that would increase rates for users of city water service. Commercial rates will increase 50 percent if the council approves the change after a second reading Nov. 18, Public Works Director Philo Shelton said."

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Category: Colorado Water
6:22:41 PM    

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From the Boulder Daily Camera: "A new concrete ramp covered in flowing water will let fish swim all the way from Valmont and Baseline Reservoirs in eastern Boulder to Eldorado Springs. The city's Open Space and Mountain Parks Department is working to install a "fish passage" at the McGinn Ditch diversion on South Boulder Creek just north of U.S. 36. When the passage is finished, the 20 or so species of fish that live in the creek will be able to move more freely across Boulder's waterways. "McGinn Ditch has a vertical diversion dam that's 5 feet tall," said Bob Crifasi of the Open Space and Mountain Parks. "Fish migrating up river hit that thing and that's as far as it goes." As part of a project to repair the dam itself, the city is installing a low-angle ramp that will be scattered with rocks, which provide places for the fish to rest on their travels up the ramp.

"Crifasi says that creeks across the front range are so fragmented that populations can't easily re-establish themselves when they're wiped out by a drought, for example, or by toxic ash from a wildfire. Connected waterways also allow for rainbow trout to swim farther upstream to spawn in the spring, and for brown trout to make the same journey in the fall."

Category: Colorado Water
6:16:51 PM    

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The hunt is on for invasive quagga mussels in Lake Pueblo, according to Chris Woodka writing for the Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:

Their quarry: mussels that have invaded Lake Pueblo and that are now spreading downstream. It's been like finding a needle in a haystack or, more precisely, evidence smaller than a slice of human hair among billions of gallons of water using a cupful at a time, once a month. The field work provides plenty of fresh air, but the results have been confirmed only after DNA testing in laboratories. Herrmann and CSU-Pueblo researcher Del Nimmo found the samples used this year to confirm the presence of zebra and quagga mussels in Lake Pueblo. They also have sampled below Pueblo Dam and found that larvae of the mussels, called veligers, have migrated downstream, through the river outlet, the fish hatchery and the Bessemer Ditch...

So far, only a couple of badly decomposed shells of zebra mussel - clams that attach themselves to surfaces - have been found at Lake Pueblo. They were found on a substrate device about a year ago. The veligers tell of worse things to come, however...

"Settlers" are the initial colonizations of the mussels, each about the size of a black peppercorn. They quickly grow into clams about the size of a fingernail, attach themselves to most any available surface and die within a couple of years, leaving behind smelly, razor-edged messes that in some cases have ruined beaches. The mussels don't cause the same sorts of problems in their home countries because fish in the Caspian and Black seas eat most of their great numbers of offspring. The same fish that eat them there actually became a new, invasive species themselves in the Great Lakes when some were imported in an attempt to control mussels. The mussels, however, may face some limiting factors in Colorado, such as the availability of nutrients phosphorus and calcium, Hermann said. If the mussels can spread, they will eat plankton - microscopic plants and animals - in the water and deprive other species of nutrients. So far, that hasn't happened at Lake Pueblo. The opacity of the water has remained constant and biological sampling has shown a consistent seasonal pattern...

While they're hunting for mussels, the CSU-Pueblo team also is checking on things like temperature, water quality and analysis of biological conditions as well, looking for a change in patterns. The sampling technique for mussel veligers downstream is a modified version of lake sampling. On the lake, a large net that filters and concentrates the tiny organisms is used. At the fish hatchery, water directly from the reservoir is tested. The hatchery also has a well, used especially when transporting fish to other bodies of water in the state, which provides water free of veligers. Herrmann took three samples from the reservoir pipe, as he does at each location. One is provided to a lab that tests for the Colorado Division of Wildlife, while another goes to the Bureau of Reclamation for testing. CSU-Pueblo will analyze the third sample. The second set of samples was taken at the Juniper Bridge, directly from the Arkansas River. The veligers are floating with the current, too small to see. Some could settle under rocks, in relatively turbulence-free water, Herrmann explained. "They don't like sunlight," he explained. "You most likely would find them under rocks in pools." Later in the day, the researchers checked the water supply for the Comanche Power Plant, another source of concern downstream of the dam. Because the wind was causing choppy water on Lake Pueblo, sampling there was postponed.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

Category: Colorado Water
6:40:27 AM    

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From the AP via "The city of Longmont is considering selling two of its water-treatment plants it no longer uses for $879,000. The plants have not been used since 2006 after the city started using a water-treatment facility in 2005 that treats 30 million gallons of the city's water each day. Longmont public works and water engineer Larry Wyeno says the city spends about $25,000 annually on the defunct plants for maintenance, utilities and security. The plants take up about 10 acres on two sides of Colorado Highway 66 east of Lyons."

Category: Colorado Water
6:23:57 AM    

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