Historic Battlement Mesa trout lake to be restored
Construction is scheduled this summer to restore a historic cutthroat trout lake at one of the Battlement Reservoirs on the White River National Forest in Garfield County.Located southeast of Battlement Mesa and Parachute, the reservoirs are in a remote location at 10,000 feet and access is difficult. The rugged terrain in addition to lack of maintenance has contributed to the deteriorated condition.Visitors who may be planning to use the Battlement Reservoir area this year should expect to encounter heavy equipment and construction, from early July through the end of September. Access is by foot or horseback on Trail No. 2160 or by the Battlement Road (FDR 847).Temporary road improvements will occur in July to allow equipment to the work site. However, once work is completed the access road will be returned to its historic primitive condition to protect the remote environment of the Battlement Reservoirs. Trail and motorized access will be maintained.In early July, the W&G Reservoir dam will be rehabilitated with a permanent erosion-resistant spillway. A professional engineer will oversee the project and a Bureau of Reclamation construction crew will do the work. When completed, the reservoir will be approximately eight acres in size. Wetland vegetation removed during construction will be restored.The White River National Forest and the Colorado Division of Wildlife have future plans of restoring two more reservoirs for fish habitat and one for wetland habitat, when sufficient funding is obtained.Restoration of the reservoirs is a cooperative effort of the U.S. Forest Service, Division of Wildlife, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the Battlement Mesa Co., the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Garfield County.
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Since Colorado’s not yet in the clear of the global pandemic, the Garfield School District Re-2 is heading into next year with a relatively frugal budget.