CUCHARAS RIVER WATERSHED PROTECTION
The final portion of the Pre-Fire Watershed Assessment identified potential watershed projects including vegetation management areas, sediment basins, and road crossings in need of improvement. The report can be accessed at Identification of Watershed Protection Projects.
The next step was more detailed work on the sediment basins. In many ways, this was the straightforward task. Since the vegetation management areas were located primarily on Federal lands (US Forest Service), where mitigation work faces significant administrative complexities, and because addressing the inadequate road crossings was prohibitively expensive, the District turned to sediment basins. Funding came from the Colorado Water Conservation Board (through the Arkansas River Watershed Collaborative) together with contributions from other local governments. The District’s consultant (JW Associates) revisited the sediment basins identified in the initial report. That investigation resulted in location modifications for some basins and the engineering design of all basins, together with development of a materials list for each sediment basin. That report can be accessed at Identification and Analysis of Post-Wildfire Sediment Basins.
The sediment basin report was lodged with the Huerfano County Office of Emergency Management. In the event of wildfire in the Upper Cucharas Basin, HCOEM will be able to immediately identify the sediment basins which need to be constructed and for those basins will have construction drawings and material lists to deliver to local contractors who participated in the process. Locations of the sediment basins may be found on the accompanying maps: