by Anna Drexler-Dreis
Colorado River Headwaters Chapter of Trout Unlimited
The Fraser River will receive a big boost this year from the partners involved in the collaborative Learning by Doing (LBD) group. On Saturday, May 6, volunteers will harvest several thousand willow stakes from Ranch Creek to use in restoration work on the Fraser River. Then, on Saturday and Sunday, May 20 and 21, volunteers will replant the willow stakes on the banks of a 1-mile stretch of the Fraser River.
The LBD group has launched the Fraser Flats River Habitat Project as its first on-the-ground collaborative project to improve Grand County’s aquatic habitat. Once the river rechanneling and re-vegetation are completed, the public will enjoy access to a half-mile of fishing just south of County Road 83.
Mely Whiting, counsel for Trout Unlimited and an LBD partner, explained, “Learning by Doing is based on the realization that cooperation, not conflict, among users is the future of water management in the West. This project demonstrates the amazing progress that’s possible when water stakeholders work together on creative solutions to keep our rivers and streams healthy.”
Another LBD partner, Paula Daukas, Environmental Planning Manager for Denver Water, commented, “The Fraser Flats project clearly demonstrates the successful collaboration of all the stakeholders to support a stream restoration project, even before the LBD cooperative effort is official. The project is based on a mutual commitment of all parties to be good stewards of the aquatic environment in Grand County.”
LBD will monitor river health and undertake projects—like the Fraser Flats River Habitat Project—that will benefit Grand County’s rivers and streams. “We are now using an increased application of science to make decisions that will improve stream conditions in Grand County,” said Grand County Commissioner Merrit Linke. “We anticipate that the success of this project will foster a new era of water cooperation and collaboration across the state.” Do you want to help with the willow harvesting and planting this spring and help make a difference for the Fraser River?
Go to www. grandcountylearningbydoing.org or email Anna Drexler-Dreis at anna. email@example.com for more information and to sign up to be a volunteer. Anna Drexler-Dreis is a board member of the Colorado River Headwaters Chapter of Trout Unlimited and is overseeing the vegetation component of the Fraser Flats River Habitat Project.