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26th Annual Eagle River Cleanup

September 12, 2020 , 7:30 am 10:00 am

We all love to play on our rivers and streams during the warm months but that love can take its toll. That’s why each September, we get down and dirty for a day of cleaning along the waterways that we all cherish.

This year, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the Eagle River watershed has experienced higher-than-normal river use rates, and while we’re grateful this precious resource has been able to provide stress relief, recreation, and opportunities for responsible gatherings, we know it is imperative to care for the river by removing trash and debris from our waterways.

The event will look and feel different this year, so that we can ensure regulations that protect public health are met, and while we are disappointed that we won’t be able to gather with a BBQ celebration at the end, we are anticipating a swelling of community pride and camaraderie that will be unmatched in the event’s 25-year history.

The Eagle River Cleanup, presented by Vail Resorts EpicPromise, is a hallmark event of the Watershed Council and one that shows the strength of our mountain community. More than 350 volunteers from local businesses, organizations, families and friends annually show their dedication to our valley by forming teams to clean up over 68 miles of Eagle County rivers and streams.

This event page will be updated as more details are available.

Pre-registration is required and the deadline is Friday, September 4th. For more information or to register, please email cleanup@erwc.org or call us at the office (970) 827-5406.

Epic Promise Logo_Stacked_10mtn_RGB

Lunch with Locals – Virtual

August 25, 2020 , 12:00 pm 1:00 pm

We’re excited for this FREE virtual Lunch with Locals program on Tuesday, August 25, at noon and want to spread the word!
Join us in listening to Glenwood Springs resident Darcy Gaetcher, the first woman to kayak the Amazon River from source to sea, as she shares her tales of adventure and daring-do to promote her book “Amazon Woman.”
*
Email pwadden@vail.gov for the Zoom meeting link.

The Science Behind Your Watershed & River Restoration

August 14, 2020 , 9:00 am 2:00 pm

Walking Mountains Science Center and Eagle River Watershed Council have partnered to bring you an immersive hiking experience in your watershed. Join us for an easy backcountry hike along the Gore Creek Trail in East Vail, where the group will stop along the water to learn about subalpine headwater environments, indicators of a healthy stream system and human impact to our local streams and rivers. 


After 2-3 hours of hiking along the creek, our day will conclude at a restoration project site in East Vail. We will dive into the science behind watershed restoration and how you can take an active role to protect the Eagle River Watershed and beyond. 


Visit Walking Mountains website for more information and to register. This program is free to attend but preregistration is required and space is limited. If you’d like to join the van carpool, tickets are $10 (limit 6). 

August 14th | 9 AM – 2 PMGore Creek Trail | East Vail

Register here

Free Free to attend.

Weed Warriors of the Eagle River Valley

August 3, 2020 , 8:00 am 5:00 pm

Deadline to submit your completed bingo card for a chance to win a prize. Submit your completed bingo card via email to Sue and Kate at weeds@erwc.org by August 3, 2020. Mailed bingo cards can be sent to: P.O. Box 1477, Gypsum, CO 81637 – must be received by August 3.


Deadline to submit the Nomination Form and photos of the weeds you have found to nominate your neighborhood for the next round in our mitigation strategy. You do not need to complete the bingo card to submit a Nomination Form. Submit your signed nomination form and photos to Sue and Kate at weeds@erwc.org by August 3, 2020. Mailed submissions can be sent to: P.O. Box 1477, Gypsum, CO 81637 and must be received by August 3rd.



Weed-Warriors-Final-Logo (1)Join Eagle River Watershed Council, Eagle Valley Land Trust, Land & Rivers Fund and Eagle County to participate in this year’s inaugural Weed Warriors of Eagle Valley program! 
From now until August 3, we encourage participants to get out and inventory your invasive weeds. Please visit the Weed Warrior website to learn more about invasive weeds and download resources and a fun bingo activity.
Once you have identified the weeds in your area, we encourage you to complete and submit a nomination form for the chance to partner up for a “mini-mitigation” effort later this summer and a robust weed mitigation day in 2021Learn more here. 

Capture the Rain – Rain Barrel Workshop

July 28, 2020 , 6:00 pm 8:00 pm

Rain collection, also known as rain harvesting, was previously illegal in the state of Colorado. But in 2016, Colorado House Bill 16-1005 passed allowing residents to collect up to 110 gallons at a time to water lawns, plants and gardens.

Join Eagle River Watershed Council this July to learn all about rain barrels in Colorado, the laws behind them, how to put them to use and how to build your own. This is the perfect way to get the most out of monsoon season here in Eagle County – converting old Coca-Cola syrup drums into a rain collection systems.

The event will be held outside in the grass at Boneyard in Eagle Ranch. Social distancing procedures will be in place, and we ask that participants wear masks when walking around the event. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.

Tickets are $45. Price includes a rain barrel and a hardware kit. Tools will be provided at the event for on-site assembly. Space is limited. Pre-registration required.

We are sorry, this event has SOLD OUT. We hope it will become an annual occurance, however, so please sign up to receive our enewsletter to get word of the event in 2021.


Did you pick up a rain barrel from us for this event?
We created a video with the workshop’s content to guide you in building your barrel. Watch the video here.


$45 Price includes a rain barrel and a hardware kit.

Boneyard

1099 Capital Street
Eagle, Colorado 81631 United States
+ Google Map

In the News – Flylords Magazine Feature

Please check out the article, run in Flylords Magazine, here.

Restore The Gore

The revival of the heart of Vail

By Andrew Braker -July 17, 2020

Vail has long been known as a great destination for fly fishing. The fishing opportunities surrounding the town, including Gore Creek, the Eagle River, the Colorado River, and the surplus of alpine lakes and streams, have always lured anglers to this location. 

Landscape view of the Vail Valley including a pond and the Gore Mountain Range
Courtesy of the Town of Vail

Gore Creek—the creek that runs through the heart of Vail—provides anglers with the unique opportunity to catch a “Colorado Grand Slam” (catching a rainbow, brown, brook, and cutthroat trout from the same body of water on the same day)! Sunny and 70’s, pulling out different species on each take, and being surrounded by beautiful mountain vistas … Gore Creek is hard to beat.

Brook trout in hand.
Courtesy of @ericbraker

While fishing on Gore creek can be epic, the stream’s condition is much different than it was a few decades ago. Today, the stream faces problems of pollutants from urban runoff, drainage from pavement and rooftops, and the loss of streamside vegetation that filters pollutants and slows their drainage. In order to learn more about the history of Gore Creek and the ongoing restoration work that is happening, we met up with Pete Wadden, the Watershed Education Coordinator for the Town of Vail.

Q & A 

Flylords: 

Hey Pete! So where does the story behind Gore Creek begin?

Pete Wadden: 

I’ll go back to the initial development of the town. Vail is actually pretty young. Construction on the town began in 1962, and the town grew very slowly up until the late 70’s. But from the 80’s until the present day, there was an explosion of growth that led to the rapid development of Vail and the surrounding Eagle Valley. Within a period of about 50 years, the valley went from being a fairly untouched area, consisting of beaver swamps and marshes, meandering streams, and natural forests, to a place with near-urban levels of development, and an interstate highway.

Night time scene of the town of Vail.
Courtesy of @mr._ford

Flylords:

How did this development affect Gore Creek?

Pete Wadden:

When these early developments were happening, people weren’t really thinking of the impact it would have on the stream. As the land started to be developed, Gore Creek was channelized and redirected away from the prime building locations. These developments had negative impacts on the water quality, water speed, water temperature, and the amount of valuable habitat. As you can imagine, this had a negative impact on the trout fishery.

Person casting on Gore Creek with mountains in the background.
Courtesy of @ericbraker

Flylords:

What is the Town of Vail doing to help get Gore Creek back on its feet?

Pete Wadden:

In 2016 the town introduced the “Restore the Gore” initiative. The initiative focuses on three main aspects: 1) Riparian Restoration, 2) Stormwater, and 3) Landscaping Practices.

We are about to surpass our goal of planting 10,000 native trees and shrubs along the creek. We have also started a project called “Project Rewild”—a public/private cost share that helps private property owners restore their property. This is especially important considering that 60% of the watershed is privately owned. Another popular initiative is the artwork that we feature next to the town’s storm drains. Each summer we have local artists create pieces that depict Gore Creek’s native habitat. Pieces (like the one below) are featured next to the storm drains to help educate the public on the idea that “what goes in here, ends up there.”

Painting of a cutthroat trout swimming in a stream
Courtesy of @mandyhertz_flyart

Flylords:

What does the future of Gore Creek look like?

Pete Wadden:

There is a lot of work ahead of us, but the future looks good. The health of the creek, and the strength of the fishing will only be improving from here on out. With the help from the town, local nonprofits, and the stewardship of private landowners, Gore Creek will continue to get healthier with time.

Two people restoring the riparian buffer of the creek
Courtesy of the Town of Vail

Flylords:

Are there any lessons to be learned from Gore Creek’s story?

Pete Wadden:

Many fly anglers are already aware of the fact that waterways, like Gore Creek, are valuable ecosystems—places with trout, insects, habitat, clean water, and endless other factors that help create a cohesive ecosystem. The biggest takeaway message from Gore Creek’s story is that we need to think of Gore Creek as a holistic ecosystem, not just a channel of water.

Painting of angler wading in Gore Creek, with adult flies flying around.
Courtesy of @mandyhertz_flyart

To learn more about the restoration of Gore Creek, follow along on Instagram @restoregorecreek.

Article written by Flylords Content Team Member Andrew Braker.

RELEASE: Bennet Applauds House Passage of CORE Act as Amendment to National Defense Authorization Act, Calls for Senate Passage

Washington, D.C. – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy (CORE) Act as an amendment to the House version of the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This is the second time the House has passed the CORE Act and taken a significant step toward protecting over 400,000 acres of public land in Colorado, safeguarding existing outdoor recreation opportunities, and boosting the state’s outdoor economy:

“The CORE Act was developed by Coloradans and, once again, the U.S. House of Representatives heard their voices loud and clear. For over a decade, communities across our state have worked together in an effort to protect public lands and secure outdoor recreation opportunities, which are vital to our state’s economy,” said Bennet. “Now, it’s up to the Senate to deliver, and the inclusion of the CORE Act in the NDAA provides a real opportunity to see this across the finish line. I’m grateful to Congressman Neguse for his leadership and tireless work to pass the CORE Act in the House, again. I will keep pushing for bipartisan support in the Senate so we can finally sign this longstanding Colorado priority into law.”

“It has been nearly 9 months since the House of Representatives passed my bill, the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy Act, and still the Senate has not taken the legislation up or brought it to Committee for consideration,” said Congressman Joe Neguse. “The CORE Act was carefully-crafted by Coloradans over the last decade and they deserve to see this bill—which would conserve treasured public lands in our state and make major investments in our outdoor recreation economy—considered by the Senate. The CORE Act would create the first-of-its-kind National Historic Landscape at Camp Hale to honor the 10th Mountain Army Division and the legacy of Sandy Treat, a local WWII veteran, with an overlook named in his honor. As a result, the bill’s inclusion in the NDAA makes perfect sense, and I am proud to see its passage out of the House today.”

In 2014, Bennet’s Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Act with U.S. Representative Scott Tipton (R-CO-3), which protected more than 100,000 acres in the Hermosa Creek Watershed in SW Colorado, was signed into law as a part of the Fiscal Year 2015 NDAA.

Background

The CORE Act, which combines four Colorado public lands proposals developed over a decade, builds on longstanding efforts to protect public lands in Colorado by establishing new wilderness, recreation, and conservation areas, including the first-ever National Historic Landscape at Camp Hale.  

The CORE Act is the product of years of work by Colorado counties, businesses, recreation groups, sportsmen, and conservationists to hammer out compromises and develop a balanced, broadly supported public lands bill. Bennet and U.S. Congressman Joe Neguse (D-CO-2) introduced the CORE Act in January 2019 with the support of counties, cities, towns, local leaders, conservation groups, sportsmen, and a wide range of outdoor industry businesses. It quickly gained momentum in the House, with a House Natural Resources Committee hearing in April, and later passed out of committee in June. The CORE Act passed the full House of Representatives in October with bipartisan support. 

Prior to House passage, in September 2019, Bennet sent a letter to Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Ranking Member Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) requesting the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hold a hearing on the CORE Act. However, no further action has been taken. The bill awaits further consideration in the Senate.

Bennet has sought every opportunity to pass the bill in the Senate. Earlier this month, Bennet introduced the CORE Act as an amendment to the Senate version of the NDAA. In June, Bennet introduced the CORE Act as an amendment to the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA), which also included long-standing Bennet priorities to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and invest in our public land management agencies. In February 2019, Bennet pushed to include the CORE Act in the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, which permanently reauthorized LWCF and included new protections for millions of acres of public land in other states across the West.

Resources  

CORE Act House and Senate Bill text, a fact sheet, frequently asked questions, maps, letters of support, and more are available at www.bennet.senate.gov/COREAct.  

CORE Act b-roll and other media resources are available HERE

National Forest Week

July 13, 2020 , 8:00 am July 19, 2020 , 5:00 pm


NFW_SavetheDate_IGStory 2

We are proud to join our partner National Forest Foundation to celebrate National Forest Week July 13-19, 2020. 


National Forests provide clean air and water, wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities across the United States.

Here in Eagle County, they help entertain and create the landscape that 2 million visitors and locals enjoy each year.  We will celebrate with themed social media posts, FAQs on the forest/river relationship, a Riverside Rambling video from Executive Director Holly Loff, and more!