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Water defines our lives and shapes our future.


Snake River WatershedSnake River GIS
Western River Plumbing Map

One great way of preserving
and helping to protect watersheds
is through the
National Wild and Scenic River designation
National Wild and Scenic Rivers,
through use of the
National Wild and Scenic Rivers System

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stream restoration - watershed restoration
water... the source of life

Protecting Watersheds is Critical to our future as a species and for all life on this planet.

The beauty and resources found in watersheds are unique and diverse beyond our understanding.
Yet there are plans on the boards in every city in our country to sell or lease these lands to the lowest bidder to remove life, to reduce/eliminate biotic diversity in our watersheds.

topics of discussion on this page:
    stream restoration and stream pollution
High Elevation Wetlands Research LINK

-Colorado is not able to effectively enforce regulations that should keep Colorado's waters clean.
Undercutting of budgets has cut back staff and without the ability to enforce Colorado's environmental rules,
that leaves the Federal Government to step in. But their budget is cut too severely to have the ability to enforce their own laws.

Looking further into Stream Restoration efforts in Colorado

KUNC radio ran a story on 8/4/2005 regarding Acid Mine Drainage into Colorado's streams, and I discovered the following efforts about it:

The Keystone Center and Mary-Davis Hamlin's efforts

Diane McKnight in Colorado University at Boulder, at the Environmental Engineering Dpt
whos graduate student Brian Wong is working on his masters degree studying Peru Creek in Summit County.

Their study is helping to restore the extensive stream and site damage done at Peru Creek.
Peru Creek Watershed Restoration Management Plan

In charge of the Snake River, is the Snake River Watershed Task Force
- their web page is: http://instaar.colorado.edu/SRWTF

The Trust for Land Restoration has a 2003 Annual Report regarding the Strategy to Aid Summit County in Cleanup of Peru Creek

Metal Loading in Peru Creek

Stream Pollution:

First for Colorado, is to examine a so-called,  "Yellow Boy" Pollution.
Iron III ions (Fe3+) are often released into surface waters as a result of pyrite weathering in mine overburden. 
This type of mine drainage is typically highly acidic. 
The polluted acid mine drainage is often diluted by fresh water as tributaries mix with the water draining from the mine tailings. 
The acid mine drainage may also come in contact with minerals that will neutralize the acid present.  In either case, the pH rises. 
As the pH of the mine drainage increases, soluble Iron III ions will hydrolize  and  precipitate out of solution as Fe(OH)3

Fe3+(aq) + 3 H2O(l)   --->    Fe(OH)3(s) + 3H+(aq)   

This precipitate is also called "yellow boy".   It is an unsightly, slimy, yellow or orange colored solid that coats the stream bed and discolors the water.  "Yellow boy" also has a notably negative impact on all living organisms in the stream.

Protecting our nations water, the heart of the Clean Water Action Plan as mandated through the Watershed Approach.

On the subject of watershed protection and restoration:
Watershed Information Network
who kindly offer their Watershed Academy Web

Even the BLM is recognizing the importance of Protecting Watersheds.

But with Federal funding being cut by the Bush administration and State and Local budgets all in crisis,
enforcing environmental rules/regulations is no longer even feasible to undertake.
Right now, Colorado is unable to enforce its own rules against polluting state waters.

Colorado is the only state in the EPA's eight-state Rocky Mountain region that does NOT use taxpayer funds for water quality protection.

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Last Modified: July 2006