Uncompahgre Watershed Partnership 2014 Update


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The Uncompahgre Watershed Partnership (UWP) is a 501(c)(3) located in Ouray County, Colorado. The group was formed in spring, 2007, when regional groups and concerned citizens applied for a watershed-planning grant. The UWP is a grassroots coalition of citizens, nonprofits, local and regional governments, and federal and state agencies dedicated to understanding, restoring and protecting land and natural resources within the Uncompahgre Watershed.

This Power Point gives an overview of the activities the UWP has been involved in over the past year and what our future projects will be. For more information visit our webpage at www.uncompahgrewatershed.org

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  • We are a group comprised of diverse stakeholders who make decisions on consensus basis to plan projects to primarily improve water quality and availability.
  • Board size: 7 - 9
  • The Uncompahgre Watershed Plan was completed for the entire watershed: headwaters to confluence with Gunnison River in Delta.The UWP is focusing its efforts in the Upper Uncompahgre Watershed: headwaters to Billy Creek below Ridgway Reservoir.
  • Watershed plan based on diverse stakeholder input from across the entire Uncompahgre Watershed
  • WQ improvement to work towards removing segments off 303(d) listAbandoned mine cleanup, monitor Idarado’s progress, identify sources of pollutants or sediment, gather WQ data, other river cleanups.Atlas Mill: Sneffels CrMichael Breen: Upper Uncompahgre R, Engineer Pass Rd.
  • Education: primary & secondary school programs in class & outside, hands on water activities, annual San Juan Mining ConferenceOutreach: field tours, community events (stakeholder meetings), films, invited speakers
  • Project Goal: to reduce heavy metal loading and acid mine drainage by cleaning up legacy mine sites: contribute to improving water quality towards attainment & removal off 303(d) list
  • All sites are located on segments listed on 303(d)list. The timeline & order of site cleanup is tentative.
  • The Mine Remediation Project is a collaborative effort with support from EPA, state (CDPHE), mining company, Forest Service, watershed group, local contractors.
  • The Nonpoint Source Management Area (NPS Program) of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment funds nonpoint source projects as a result of receiving a federal grant under section 319(h) of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA). Water Quality Control Division administers WQIF: The purpose of the Water Quality Improvement Fund (WQIF) is to improve water quality in Colorado by providing grant funds for water quality improvement projects using civil penalties from water quality violations. House Bill 11-1026 amended the statute to authorize grants for stormwater management training and best practices training to prevent or reduce the pollution of state waters.
  • IMPLEMENTATION OUTCOMES (estimates):20,000 cu yd of tailings removed7 ac seeded300 ft of streambank stabilized2 ac of wetlands created4 lb/day of metals removed2 interpretive signs installedCOST$60,120 NPS/WQIF$148,230 Match
  • Revenue-Virginius Mine with pond in background.
  • IMPLEMENTATION OUTCOMES (estimates):<1 cfs discharge diverted1 lb/day of metals removed1 ac of revegetatedhillslopes post waste rock removalimproved county road drainagestabilized loadout structureinterpretive signCOST$22,760 NPS/WQIF$34,720 Match
  • IMPLEMENTATION OUTCOMES (estimates):<1 cfs discharge diverted1,000 cu yd waste rock removed13.8 lb/day of metals removed75 ftstreambankrevegetatedCOST$26,720 NPS/WQIF$25,420 Match
  • Uncompahgre Watershed Partnership 2014 Update

    1. 1. Uncompahgre Watershed Partnership We strive for healthy rivers in a thriving community!
    2. 2. Who Are We? 501(C)3 NON-PROFIT WATERSHED GROUP Water Availability Water Quality Consensus Basis Diverse Stakeholders
    3. 3. Who Are We? US Bureau of Reclamation: Sec. 6001 Cooperative Watershed Management Act Watershed group: a self sustaining, cooperative watershed-wide group that: 1. Is comprised of representatives of the affected stakeholders of the relevant watershed 2. Incorporates the perspectives of a diverse array of stakeholders 3. Is a grassroots, non-regulatory entity that addresses water availability and water quality issues within the relevant watershed
    4. 4. Who Are We? 4. Is capable of promoting sustainable use of water resources of the relevant watershed and improving the functioning condition of rivers and streams through: water conservation, improved water quality, ecological resiliency, and the reduction of water conflicts 5. Makes decisions on a consensus basis.
    5. 5. Why Important? • > 80 watershed groups in Colorado • Recognized by state & federal programs to safeguard community’s water through grass-roots initiatives • Gatherers of historic & current water data • Local stewards • Stakeholders: - production agr. - mining - recreation/tourism - municipal & industrial water users
    6. 6. UWP Mission To help protect the economic, natural, and scenic values of the Upper Uncompahgre River Watershed. The Partnership works to inform and engage all stakeholders and solicits input from diverse interests to ensure collaborative restoration efforts in the watershed.
    7. 7. Partners LOCAL • City of Ouray • Ouray County Commissioners • Ouray County Weed Control • Ouray County Historical Society • Ouray Library • Ouray School District • Ridgway-Ouray Community Council • Ridgway School District • Town of Ridgway STATE & FEDERAL • CO Division of Reclamation, Mining, and Safety • CDPHE – Nonpoint Source Program • Colorado River Watch • Colorado Watershed Assembly • Colorado Watershed Conservation Board • Ridgway State Park • U.S. Bureau of Reclamation • U.S. Forest Service • Western Hardrock Watershed Team NON-PROFIT • Black Canyon Regional Land Trust • Friends of the River Uncompahgre • Mountain Studies Institute • Selenium Task Force • Transition OurWay • Trout Unlimited • Trust for Land Restoration PRIVATE • Local business sponsors • Star Mine Operations • Western Stream Works SPECIAL DISTRICTS • CO River Water Conservation District • Gunnison Basin Roundtable • Shavano Conservation District • Tri-County Water Conservancy District
    8. 8. Ken Lipton – Chair Jerry Roberts – Vice Chair Scott Williams – Treasurer Judi Chamberlin – Secretary Anthony Ramsey Bob Larson Dennis Murphy Board of Directors
    9. 9. • US Bureau of Reclamation grant - UWP Expansion & Incorporation • Colorado Water Conservation Board grants - restoration projects - outreach & education • Foundation Grants • Other - donations - local fundraisers - memberships - non-profit organizations - Town of Ridgway UWP Funding
    10. 10. FOCUS ON: Upper Uncompahgre Watershed
    11. 11. UWP Goals Uncompahgre Watershed Plan 1. Improve water quality 2. Improve riverine ecosystems 3. Improve water quantity 4. Improve recreation opportunities 5. Create a stable stakeholder group
    12. 12. Improve Water Quality Michael BreenAtlas Mill River Watch Tire Clean-up
    13. 13. • Promote water conservation • Collaborate with water users & water managers on water conservation strategies • Participate in developing long-term strategies to augment water supplies and flows Improve Water Quantity
    14. 14. Streambank stabilization Weeds Eradication Improve Riverine Functioning River Assessment Rollans Park Stewardship
    15. 15. Crystal Lake Improve Recreation Opportunities Ridgway River Festival
    16. 16. Field Tours Sharing Water Activity Watershed Model Mining Conference Outreach & Education
    17. 17. Upper Uncompahgre Mine Remediation Project
    18. 18. Main Tasks Atlas Mill Michael Breen Mine Vernon Mine Pre & Post sampling Headwaters sampling Outreach 2014 2015 2016 2017 TIMELINE & SITES Atlas Mill Sneffels Cr. Michael Breen Uncompahgre River Vernon Gray Copper Gulch
    19. 19. PARTNERSHIP CLEAN WATER UWP Local Contractors & Land- owners State & Federal Funding Mining Company
    20. 20. PROJECT FUNDING $163,123 Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment – Nonpoint Source Program (pursuant to Section 319(h) of the federal Clean Water Act) $67,884 Water Quality Improvement Fund $361,075 Match and In-Kind $524,200 TOTAL
    21. 21. IMPLEMENTATION - removal of tailings - seeding - streambank stabilization - small wetland creation - 2 interpretive signs installed PARTNERS - DRMS - Star Mine Operations - Western Stream Works - Ouray County Historical Society ATLAS MILL Sneffels Creek 2014
    24. 24. IMPLEMENTATION OUTCOMES - diversion of adit discharge - waste rock removal - hillslope vegetation - improved county road drainage - stabilized loadout structure - interpretive sign PARTNERS - DRMS - Trust for Land Restoration - Ouray County Road & Bridge - Ouray County Historical Society MICHAEL BREEN Uncompahgre River Engineer Pass Rd 2015
    25. 25. VERNON MINE Gray Copper Gulch 2015 IMPLEMENTATION OUTCOMES - diversion of adit discharge - waste rock removal - streambank revegetation PARTNERS - DRMS - Trust for Land Restoration - Private landowner
    26. 26. Please visit our website to join, participate or donate: www.uncompahgrewatershed.org