Content View Hits : 125984

Stream Monitoring

 

Saving the Ecosystem of Snowmass and Capitol Creeks

Live charting of the Snowmass Creek stream flow by the Colorado Division of Water Resources Surface Water Conditions.

snowmass fishingSince 1978, the Snowmass-Capitol Creek Caucus has organized and directed a long series of initiatives to protect instream flows in Snowmass Creek and to preserve its aquatic environment and extraordinary riparian ecosystem.

The nearby Town of Snowmass Village and Snowmass Ski Area, while in the separate and much smaller Brush Creek watershed, depend on the Snowmass Creek watershed for all of its water supplies. Essentially all of East Snowmass Creek is diverted by ditch and pipeline to furnish the main municipal water supply for the town, while almost no water is used from the Brush Creek drainage. In 1978 the Army Corps of Engineers granted a permit to the Snowmass Village Water District which allowed the construction of a trans-basin diversion structure and pump station sending additional water from the main stem of Snowmass Creek up to Snowmass Village. The district proposed to lower the Snowmass Creek minimum flow to a level which would have severely damaged the creek ecosystem.

Since then the caucus has commisssioned scientific studies to establish biologically sound in-stream flow reqirements.

At the same time, we have hired Denver environmental attorney Lori Potter to represent the Caucus. A coalition of national and local conservation groups including American Rivers, the Sierra Club, Trout Unlimited, Audubon, the Wilderness Workshop, Windstar Land Conservancy and High County Citizens Alliance are supporting the maintainance of an adequeate instream flow.

The Snowmass Village water district has recently presented a plan for a resevoir that will help provide for the water needs of an expanded base village and addional snowmaking. We look forward to working with the district to achieve our common goal of providing sufficiient water for Snowmass Village, while allowing Snowmass Creek to survive.