Swan River Restoration Project Blog

Updates on construction and project milestones.

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Mar 18

Swan River Restoration Project - BOCC Update and Plans for 2019

Posted on March 18, 2019 at 10:42 AM by Jason Lederer

It may be a snowy Summit County winter, but work continues on the Swan River Restoration Project. It has been a busy “off season” and we wanted to provide you with a few updates as we look towards advancing work in 2019:

  1. Annual Update to the Summit County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC): One of the conditions of Summit County’s gravel milling permit (Conditional Use Permit) requires annual project updates to the BOCC. The Summit County Open Space and Trails Department (OST) will be providing its third annual update to the BOCC at a worksession scheduled for Tuesday, April 2nd at 9:00 a.m. in the Commissioners’ Hearing Room in the County Courthouse in Breckenridge. OST will review accomplishments from 2018 and discuss plans for the 2019, including continued gravel removal from the valley. As always, your attendance at these meetings is welcomed. Please do not hesitate to contact OST with any questions, or comments about this meeting. 
  2. Enhanced Groundwater Monitoring: During early March, OST, in coordination with the County’s ecological engineering consultant, Ecological Resource Consultants (ERC), and gravel removal contractor, Schofield Excavation, installed eight piezometer wells on the Reach B site. Over the next several months, OST will be closely monitoring groundwater elevations across the site, which will provide critical information required for finalizing the elevation and alignment design of the new stream channel. This information will also help in optimizing the final grading and gravel removal plan for the Reach B site.Piezo Install
  3. Reach A Monitoring: In 2018, Summit County received a Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) Watershed Restoration Monitoring Grant. Utilizing this grant funding, ERC performed their first comprehensive post-construction monitoring of several site parameters including, the new channel, soil and plant development, and habitat development. Recent results indicate that all measured parameters are performing extremely well, with the new channel responding appropriately to new flows, soils and plant materials becoming established, and stream habitat (e.g., riffles, pools, stream bed substrate, etc.) functioning and developing as intended. Additionally, a fall 2018 fishery survey conducted by Colorado Parks and Wildlife aquatic biologist, Jon Ewert indicates a very healthy fishery is becoming established in the new Swan River channel!Fish Survey
  4. Restoring Reach A Site Access: It has always been a project goal to provide public access to a restored Swan River channel. Post-construction, the site was extremely fragile as the new channel and vegetation became established across the site. This year, we are planning to scratch in a new trail through the Reach A restoration area and, with a little help from Mother Nature (cross your fingers for more typical moisture this season), reopen the site to the public. We will be sure to make an announcement via this blog if/when public access is restored in 2019. Monitoring

Keep in touch; it is shaping up to be another exciting year for the Swan River Restoration Project! 

Additional information about Swan River Restoration Project is available at RestoreTheSwanRiver.com as well as on the Open Space and Trails Special Projects web page. If you have additional questions about the restoration project, you can contact Summit County Open Space and Trails Director Brian Lorch, or Open Space and Trails Resource Specialist Jason Lederer, or call 970.668.4060.