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Mine Reclamation Updates

Posted by Jeff Florence on May 15, 2017 in Uncategorized

Site Location Update
Lower Creek

(Updated 12/18/17)

Boulder, CO, near Jamestown, CO We are receiving our final report from the Lefthand Watershed Oversight Group (LWOG) detailing restoration success at a former informal gun range that TU, the Arapaho Roosevelt National Forest and RMC Consultants cleaned up in 2015. LWOG has been partnering with us this summer to monitor the site and has reported some extremely positive findings. LWOG’s monitoring data are showing at least a four-fold decrease in total lead concentration in surface waters as compared to pre-construction levels, and an even more impressive 14-fold decline of lead concentrations in streambed-sediments as compared to pre-construction levels. These results demonstrate the success of our project and our partnerships in this watershed, and promise continued environmental health for the area.
Fourmile Creek Boulder CO, near Gold Hill, CO Trout Unlimited and the Fourmile Watershed Coalition have successfully partnered to complete active water quality sampling and flow monitoring along multiple sites located in the Fourmile Watershed.  These samples have been sent to Fort Collins for analyzing and we are awaiting the results.  We are hopefully awaiting a grant to continue our proactive research with more high flow and low flow sampling at additional sites.
Doctor Mine Empire, CO We plan to monitor water quality at this site to monitor the overall effectiveness of work completed in 2014.
Lion Creek

(Updated 12/18/17)

Empire, CO We just wrapped up a really interesting project with USGS and the Arapahoe Roosevelt NF in the Lion Creek watershed. This project utilized a sodium bromide tracer injection at the upstream Minnesota Mine shaft to understand pathways of connectivity between contaminated groundwater and surface water within the watershed. Understanding these pathways will help us focus future restoration efforts in the watershed in the most effective way possible. We look forward to applying the lessons learned from our data in the coming seasons to continue to improve downstream water quality for Clear Creek and its valuable ecological resources.
Leavenworth Creek

(Updated 12/18/17)

Georgetown, CO TU, Arapaho Roosevelt National Forest, and H2 Enterprises completed tailings removal and amendments on approximately three acres of tailings in the Leavenworth Creek watershed in October. All of the improved areas were seeded with native alpine species and mulched to encourage healthy revegetation at the site. In addition to tailings removal and amending, project partners also created multiple sustainable drainage ditches to control drainage on the site, and planted approximately 300 willow stakes in those ditches. Preliminary soil testing revealed decreased soil acidity and decreased concentrations of metals in soils across the site but final testing and revegetation evaluation will be done next spring/summer once the site is accessible. In addition to the tailings work in the Leavenworth watershed, TU and our partners also completed revegetation at the Santiago Mine and Mill building. We expect that our efforts will contribute to a healthier watershed within Leavenworth Creek and increased downstream water quality for the Town of Georgetown and Clear Creek.
Illinois Gulch Breckenridge, CO Our project proposal for construction on Illinois Gulch has been approved and we are looking forward to working with the EPA, property owners, and Summit County to have the best reclamation project possible.  Work should begin in Late August/ Early September.
Chalk Creek Buena Vista, CO A site visit at the end of this month (July) will help us to determine the best ways to improve site drainage and overall maintenance.  This project also offers us the unique opportunity to build a relationship with the Pike San Isabel Forest Service.
Minnie Lynch Mine

(Updated 12/18/17)

Villa Grove, CO TU, Rio Grande National Forest and Iron Maiden, Inc had an extremely successful construction season at the Minnie Lynch Mine site. This year, project partners removed tailings material from the site, established drainage controls to reduce contaminated sediment erosion into Minnie Lynch Gulch, developed a sedimentation basin on site and revegetated the site with native species. This year’s work compliments two previous phases of work completed at the site by TU and our partners and contributes to an even higher level of environmental improvement in the Kerber Creek watershed.
Stinkingwater Mining District Cody, WY We have completed our sampling plan for this area will be working with the USFS from July 31 – August 4 to complete water quality sampling in the district.

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