The Five Mines Project
2003 - 2006
Four abandoned mine sites and one mill site were selected for clean-up activities in 2003. The sites were selected because they were potential sources of non-point loading of metals, acid, and sediments to Willow Creek and/or its tributaries. The WCRC established voluntary cooperation with the owners and agencies involved with these sites. These sites were not major contributors of metals to Willow Creek, but reclamation was straightforward and should result in measurable improvement to water quality.
As part of the Willow Creek Watershed Reclamation Project, the Willow Creek Reclamation Committee completed reclamation of five different mine sites:
Willow Creek’s aquatic and riparian habitat were improved and restored through the implementation of Best Management Practices (BMPs), reducing pollutant loading from the five mine sites. The BMPs utilized at the various mine sites included: run-on/run-off controls, soil amendment and revegetation, waste material consolidation and regrading, stream diversion, waste material cementation, and waste material capping. The different BMPs continue to be monitored for effectiveness and stability, and provide guidance through successful demonstration for future project planning.
Funding for this effort comes from EPA Section 319, U.S. Forest Service, and the Colorado Division of Minerals and Geology.