South Fork Little Snake River Riparian Fencing (CO)

Recipient: Trout Unlimited, Inc. Foundation Federal Funding: $55,000 Foundation Non-Federal Funding: $1,000 Matching Funds: $90,000 Project Area/Location: 30 miles north of Steamboat Srings, Routt County, northwestern Colorado
Total Funding: $146,000

Trout Unlimited, Inc. will restore stream habitat along 1.5 miles of Colorado River cutthroat trout and mountain sucker habitat. Fencing will be installed along both sides of the stream to eliminate impacts from cattle. The South Fork Little Snake River (SFLSR) population of Colorado River cutthroat trout (CRCT) currently occupies 19.4 miles of the upper SFLSR. In addition, this system is a native species conservation area for mountain sucker, mottled sculpin, and speckled dace. The “Range-Wide Status of CRCT” report identified this population as “Weakly Connected” due to the poor aquatic habitat conditions in the mainstem which limit connectivity between the sub-populations. Past use by cattle and elk are retarding the improvement of riparian conditions. This project proposes to eliminate cattle grazing impacts along 4.6 miles of the lower SFLSR by installing a 3-pole buck and rail fence along both sides of the riparian area. The project would occur on Bureau of Land Management and Three Forks Ranch property. The objectives are to improve aquatic habitat conditions by eliminating cattle grazing impacts and improving watershed resiliency to climate change. Project success will be measured by monitoring changes in fish distribution/abundance and stream/riparian habitat. This project is a cooperative effort between Three Forks Ranch, Colorado Division of Wildlife, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

All Districts: District 3 (CO)