Willows planted for Fraser Flats River Habitat Project

On May 20 and 21 over 100 community volunteers helped plant 3,000 willows and 90 cottonwoods on the Fraser Flats as part of the Fraser Flats River Habitat stream restoration project. (L to R) Mark Eddy, Kent Wehmeyer, Kirk Klancke, Leif Eggert, Justin Glenn, Darrell Chambers and Jeff Keyes.

To the Editor,

I want to give a huge THANK YOU to all the volunteers who came out to assist with the Fraser Flats River Habitat Project. On May 6, over 50 community members harvested 4,600 willow stakes from Ranch Creek on Devil’s Thumb Ranch property. Then, on May 20 and 21, 100 community members braved the cold weather to plant those willows on the banks of the Fraser River. Once it was all done, we had planted over 3,000 willow stakes and 90 cottonwoods! The plantings will help stabilize the stream banks, provide instream habitat for trout, reduce solar influence from direct sunlight by providing a shaded canopy, and leave inside bends open to give anglers clear casting lanes. This community-supported vegetation project is part of the larger Learning by Doing effort in Grand County. Learning by Doing is a collaborative group that aims to improve the rivers and streams in Grand County. Special thanks to the entire Learning by Doing crew who supported this pilot project. To the 150 community members who came out to help heal the Fraser River, thank you, we could not have done it without you.

I also want to thank everyone that donated items for the volunteer days: Winter Park Subway, Lions Head Coffee, Odell’s Brewery, Good to Go Portables, Mike Turner at TV18, Fraser Valley Ace Hardware, Devil’s Thumb Ranch, and Winter Park Flyfisher. I would like to thank Margie and John Haley for providing the funds to purchase the tools and vegetation to execute the project. Special thanks to the entire Colorado River Headwaters Chapter of Trout Unlimited for their willingness to help me in any way I asked. I could not have done it without you. Special thanks to each of the crew leaders: Kirk Klancke, Dennis Buechler, Rich Newton, Brett Macalady, Scott Springton, and Brad Johnson. You rock! I am thankful to live in such an amazing community.

Thank you,

Anna Drexler-Dreis

Board member, Colorado River Headwaters Chapter Trout Unlimited