The town of Hayden needs to prioritize desired trail and open space projects before deciding whether to proceed with a proposed restoration project on Dry Creek, Town Manager Russ Martin said.
Martin, Colorado Division of Wildlife District Manager Jim Haskins and interested residents met Monday with an environmental consultant about the possibility of restoring Dry Creek from Dry Creek Park to the Yampa River.
Suggestions for the possible project came with the town's plans to build a trail through Dry Creek Park using funds reallocated from a project that would have built a trail from Hayden Town Park to U.S. Highway 40.
Those funds were not sufficient to purchase the necessary land and build a trail to U.S. 40.
Dry Creek, which runs through Hayden, is difficult to access and enjoy in some areas because of overgrown vegetation, Martin said. Plus, the vegitation is inhibiting water flow and fish habitation, environmental consultant Troy Thompson of Ecological Resource Consultants said.
Though the overall response to the restoration idea has been positive, the town needs to determine exactly what it wants to accomplish with the project. Residents' enjoyment of the creek, possibly through improved fishing or wildlife habitat, is among the goals the town needs to explore, Martin said.
He plans to ask the Hayden Town Board to apply for a Great Outdoors planning grant that could be used to confirm Dry Creek restoration goals and assess how the proposed restoration fits into the town's overall ideas for a trail system and open space areas.
It's too early to project how much a restoration project would cost, but the DOW may have funds available for the project, Martin said.
The project would be on hold until GOCo awards its grants in January, Martin said.
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