STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, CO– The Yampa Valley Housing Authority (YVHA) selected Stillwater Sciences, a qualified environmental science and engineering firm and FlyWater, inc, a river restoration design-build firm, to develop a concept-level restoration plan for Slate Creek on the YVHA-owned Brown Ranch property in Routt County, Colorado. The Slate Creek riparian corridor is a seasonal waterway that creates an ecological spine running north to south through the Brown Ranch. The consultant is being funded by the Colorado Healthy Rivers Fund with a grant of $20,000.
“We are so fortunate to have received a $20,000 grant from the Colorado Healthy Rivers Fund to plan for restoration of the Slate Creek riparian corridor. The creek restoration meets so many of our sustainability and health equity goals, including restoring and enhancing wildlife habitat, providing future residents with recreation opportunities and connection to nature, and supporting stormwater and water quality management. We are designing the infrastructure and neighborhoods of Brown Ranch with Slate Creek at top of mind, which is why we are beginning this process early,” said Jason Peasley, Executive Director of the YVHA.
YVHA is planning to construct an affordable local workforce housing development on the 534-acre property, consisting of four neighborhoods with residential units and some commercial amenities that will be connected by trails, parks, and open space. YVHA’s objective for this project is to understand the driving processes of Slate Creek, to minimize adverse impacts to the ecosystem and waterway during construction at Brown Ranch, and to propose design options that enhance the health and function of Slate Creek after Brown Ranch is developed. Slate Creek runs seasonally north to south through the Brown Ranch property, then it flows under US Highway 40 to the Yampa River, so maintaining high quality water through the creek is crucial. The Brown Ranch Community Development Plan envisions a community park and trail along the Slate Creek corridor. The identified priorities for Slate Creek are recreation, wildlife habitat, and stormwater management.
The Colorado Healthy Rivers Fund was initially started in 2002 in collaboration with leaders of the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) and the Colorado Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC). Senate Bill 02-087, adopted by the 2002 Colorado General Assembly, authorized “the requirement that Colorado State Individuals Income Tax Return Forms contain a line whereby individual taxpayers may make a voluntary contribution to the Colorado Watershed Protection Fund. House Bill 08-1241 changed the name of the Fund to the Colorado Healthy Rivers Fund. Money collected in the Fund is made available in a grant program established jointly by the Colorado Water Conservation Board and the Water Quality Control Commission, in cooperation with the Colorado Watershed Assembly. CWA is a statewide organization serving more than 90 individual watershed protection groups as well as 75 Soil and Water Conservation Districts facilitating outreach, education, and support of landowners and land managers in their stewardship of Colorado’s natural resources.
Contact: Emily Katzman, (970) 870-0167