FOLBR - Friends Of the Lower Blue River

Discovering the Benefits of Beaver in the Lower Blue

A beaver surveying a calm pond

Friends of the Lower Blue River is currently studying the benefits of beaver in the Valley. We are undertaking a stream assessment initiative this summer. Director of Climate Action, Tom Koehler is currently surveying areas of the Lower Blue for potential ecological wetland uplift. He is using a mosaic of mapping tools to indicate where beaver have been, where they might currently exist and where uplifts have the potential to increase species diversity, including beaver in the future. The benefits include, drought resiliency as well as vegetative health for wildlife, stream bank stability and environmental health, such as clean water.

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Wetlands for Climate Resiliency

Example of a Beaver Dam Analog

Last month, our Wetlands for Wildlife project, funded and sponsored by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, took real steps forward. We began ground operations along with Ecometrics, uplifting previously modest wetlands, implementing beaver dam analogs as a natural climate solutions tool within our Climate Resilience Initiative. This process allows the stream to expand following historical flows, enhancing biodiversity, mitigating drought impacts and promoting healthy wildlife habitat. 

The next phase of this project is already underway creating Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping designs. We are also working to develop field verification teams this autumn to examine the natural intricacies of streams. Next spring, we will continue this work throughout more of the Lower Blue River Valley.

Climate Resiliency Update

We have worked to secure funding from Colorado Parks and Wildlife for our Dynamic Wetlands Wildlife Initiative. In the weeks ahead, through the summer and fall, our partner EcoMetrics will be treating 37 acres on private property with Beaver Dam Analogs (manmade structure which mirror beaver dam construction) for biodiversity, habitat for species and carbon capture. 

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Climate Resiliency Update

Friends of the Lower Blue River has been busy working with our partner landowners, non-profits and governmental agencies designing climate resiliency projects for this summer and autumn. 

We have successfully secured grant funding from Colorado Parks and Wildlife through their Wetlands for Wildlife program. It is dynamic initiative. We will be working with EcoMetrics, a stream and wetlands restoration firm based in Breckenridge, to implement Beaver Dam Analogs in the Spruce Creek near Kremmling. These are man-made structures designed to mimic the form and function of a natural beaver dam. Increasing the water flow in wetland areas mirrors historical natural flows to benefit many wildlife species, provide drought resistance, and allow for more carbon capture. 

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FOLBR Climate Resiliency Update

FOLBR is actively working on our Summer/Autumn implementation plans with our private landowners.

We have examined the results of our soil tests across four landscape types with our partner Colorado Mycology Watershed Institute.The samples came back with results across physical, biological and chemical groups.

Overall 15 characteristics or indicators were listed with a value and rating of very low, low, medium, high or very high. The indicators illuminated potential ecological soil uplifts or amendments to enhance surface hardness, organic matter and active carbon as well as soil respiration.

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