Stream's habitat gets help

FAIRPLAY — The setting, someone said, suggests Patagonia, that part of Argentina where rivers spill down from the Andes to the delight of peripatetic anglers and filmmakers.

A backdrop of majestic mountains, sweeping loops of flowing water, trout rising in nearly every bend.

Instead, this place exists less than two hours from Denver where the Middle Fork of the South Platte River bisects Colorado 9 at what once was a stage stop called Garo.

Fishermen know the site as Buffalo Peaks Ranch, a possession of Aurora's water department, a place of public access and a point of concern where it involves the extended health of a river that suffered historic abuse, mostly from an invasion of cattle.

Colorado Trout Unlimited aims to help. The conservation organization is hip-deep in a project designed to improve habitat on 3 1/2 miles of a stream whose fish-holding capacity has been diminished by variety of ills.