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 Sustaining Alpine and Forest Ecosystems
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Linda Joyce
Rocky Mountain Research Station
240 West Prospect
Fort Collins, CO 80526
Phone: 970-498-2560
ljoyce@fs.fed.us
 United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service.USDA logo which links to the department's national site.Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.
Ski Area Expansion Impacts on Water Quality  

 

The Telluride Ski and Golf Company (Telski), Telluride, Colorado, has expanded in Prospect Basin watershed, located on the Uncompahgre National Forest in southwestern Colorado. The expansion began in 2000, including construction of new ski slopes, and the installation of new access roads, ski lifts, and water lines for snow making. Any ecosystem disturbance that exposes bare soil, such as tree removal or reconstruction of slopes for ski runs, or road or water line installation, could result in increases in overland flow and changes in the release of soil particles and chemical constituents from the ecosystem. Monitoring has been conducted to examine possible changes in stream flow, sedimentation, and water chemistry of surface waters. Helicopter logging, mulching, and multiple silt fences have be utilized to minimize disturbance. The effectiveness of mitigation of construction disturbance is examined by comparing data from Prospect Creek with that from nearby undisturbed watersheds, Turkey Creek and Bear Creek. Data are collected weekly during the summer and monthly during the winter. Significant construction occurred during the summer and fall of 2001. Monitoring is continuing and data are currently being summarized.

 
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