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41A7AA02991DC10D872588A800766788 Hearing Summary


Date Aug 24, 2022      
Location HCR 0112

Stream Rehabilitation - Committee Discussion Only

03:34:20 PM  

Ralph Scanga, General Manager at the Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District, Luke Javernick, PhD, Executive Director at River Science, and Chelsey Nutter, Project Manager at River Science, introduced themselves.  Dr. Javernick discussed the Van Norman Project. He talked about the issues with the project, where it can be improved, and how the improvements could be funded.  

03:36:39 PM  
Mr. Scanga gave background about the Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District.
03:41:01 PM  
Mr. Scanga discussed
water right impacts of beaver dam analogs, including the diversion of water
into a riparian area, stream depletions, evaporation in storage, and exposure
of groundwater.  
03:45:48 PM  

Mr. Scanga spoke about the value of a streamlined process and the Van Norman Pilot Project.  He said the project is hoping to identify water right injury issues, evaluate restoration processes, develop restoration methods, and evaluate techniques for stream depletion mitigation.

03:47:39 PM  
Ms. Nutter spoke about the next steps for implementation of the project and the funding needs.
03:48:19 PM  
The panelists responded to questions about funding and the impacts of beaver dams.
03:53:16 PM  

The panelists continued to discuss the previous questions.

04:00:14 PM  
The second panel,
Abby Burk, Western Rivers Regional Program Manager, Audubon Rockies, introduced
the presentation.  She discussed the importance of watersheds and
how drought has affected the Colorado River Basin.
04:04:50 PM  

Ms. Burk told the committee about stream restoration projects and the importance of healthy headwater streams and wetlands.

04:08:35 PM  

Ms. Burk discussed how beaver ponds provide resilience to fires. She showed images of landscapes with and without beaver ponds and how those areas are impacted after a large fire. She told the committee about ways to improve the health of streams and wetlands.

04:11:48 PM  
Sonya Chavez, General Manager, Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District, introduced her presentation. She spoke about how wet meadows improve shallow groundwater storage. She showed images of vulnerable meadows.
04:19:24 PM  
Ms. Chavez discussed different restoration techniques, including one rock dam, zuni bowl, rock rundown, and log and fabric structures. She told the committee how these dams work.
04:22:27 PM  

Ms. Chavez told the committee about the her district's plan going forward, including the different funding sources for different projects.

04:25:52 PM  
The panelists answered questions about the effectiveness of their programs and the challenge with water rights.
04:30:17 PM  

The panelists answered a question about keeping water in Colorado.

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