Restored Riparian Habitat
The Rio Grande Chub (Gila pandora), a listed species of concern by the Colorado
Threatened Fish Species
On the eastern portion of the Everson Ranch, an award-winning restored riparian section of Hot Springs Creek provides critical habitat to two imperiled species of fish, the Rio Grande chub and the Rio Grande Sucker.
Hot Springs Creek runs down Hot Springs Canyon (in a wet spring) and joins in with the spring water from Valley View Hot Springs. The water is carried from Valley View Hot Springs in a twelve inch diameter pipe 9000 feet to the hydroelectric plant. From there it comes out onto the valley floor. From there, the creek has been turned from a hundred year old irrigation ditch into a natural meandering creek through a partnership with the Colorado Division of Wildlife, US Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Shower before swimming and save our threatened species...
Before soaking in Valley View's beautiful pools, take a moment to consider how clean and natural our spring waters are. Think not only of the other visitor's you share it with, but also the hundreds of animals and plants that rely on the very same water you're about to step into. Be mindful of the sunblock, lotion, and oils on your skin and stop by one of the showers before you end up sharing more than you meant. By the time it reaches the reservoir, it tends to float to the surface where birds, fish, and wildlife drink. Whereas, all shower water is carefully treated through our waste water system. Those who need protection from the sun may do well at the Apple Tree Pools and the middle Top Pond. Hats and sarongs are a great option too.]
Steps are taken to keep the water downstream as clean as when it emerges from the ground. Not only is this respectful to the environment and downstream neighbors, but its important to the Rio Grande Chub living just downstream of the powerhouse. This species, federally listed as threatened, contributes to a healthy ecosystem. Their home, the stream and reservoir, were re-built to near-natural conditions in late 2010. Chemical use is minimized. Research is currently underway regarding the feasibility of a natural wastewater treatment facility. Steps are being taken to reduce the use of sunscreen, which can affect water quality.
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