Lodge – Could you pass this quiz?
I discovered a Bioregional Quiz in a book about Colorado Environmental History. The quiz was originally published in CoEvolution Quarterly in 1981. There are 20 questions, none of which I knew the answer to. As my New Year’s resolution, I picked 10 questions and will find the answers, and share them here, in the Outdoor Adventure Column for the next few months.• Trace the water you drink from precipitation to tap.• Name five resident and five migratory birds in your area.• What was the total rainfall in your area last year• When was the last time a fire burned in your area• Name five edible plants in your region and their season(s) of availability• Where does your garbage go• Name five grasses in your area. Are any of them native?• What species have become extinct in your area?• What are the major plant associations in your region?• What spring wildflower is consistently among the first to bloom where you live?To answer the first question, I met Kirk Klancke, the Grand County expert on water. We met at his office in the Winter Park Ranch Water & Sanitation building and then put on our skis for a ski down the Fraser River Trail on a sunny, cold afternoon.He tells me that Fraser residents get their water from wells that pump the water to a water treatment plant. There, it is disinfected with chlorine then pumped to buried storage tanks above town and gravity fed to each home.Winter Park and Old Town residents get their water from Vasquez Creek. It is collected from the steam’s surface a few miles above town and is gravity fed to a water treatment plant. The water is then gravity fed to each home. As we ski next to the river, Kirk tells me that the Fraser River starts on Berthoud Pass and continues for 29 miles to the confluence of the upper Colorado River. The Colorado and Fraser rivers are the same size as they meet together in Granby just past Windy Gap. We ski over a bridge just before the Walk Through History Park. Kirk explains the Fraser River Enhancement Project creates a healthier aquatic habitat by reconstructing the stream bed to be narrower and deeper. This allows the river to flow with a more concentrated velocity to help flush sediment and to keep the river temperatures cooler. We talk about the Moffat Firming Project and he explains that as of today, Denver Water’s Moffat Tunnel and other diversion projects take 60 percent of the Fraser River’s water. The great news is the public comment period for the project has been extended to March 1, 2010. On Jan. 12, The Grand County Board of Commissioners is hosting a panel of water experts to discuss what the county is doing to protect water quality, rivers, and stream. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Inn at Silvercreek. The second question of the Bioregional Quiz for Grand County will be answered next week after I spend a day with the Grand County Wilderness Group and Brock McCormick of the Forest Service on their 8th Annual Granby Christmas Bird Count. For more information on this event go to http://www.gcwg.org.
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