Janet Bare Spring Creek Restoration Fund

In loving memory of Janet Bare, this fund has been set up to support the restoration of Spring Creek. Spring Creek is located near Chromo, Colorado in the San Juan River Watershed and is a tributary to the Navajo River. Spring Creek runs through the Crowley Ranch Reserve and is in need of restoration to improve its overall ecological function.

We have raised $7,525 to support the restoration of Spring Creek! If you would like to donate to our efforts in memory of Jan Bare, enter your contribution amount and click the ‘Continue’ button below.

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Spring Creek on the Crowley Ranch is undergoing a channel evolution based on changes to the driving forces that control its dimension, pattern and profile. The most stable form for the Spring Creek is a relatively narrow low flow channel, closely connected to a wide floodplain, with high plan form sinuosity. This type of channel has been observed to be very sensitive to outside disturbances and can evolve to other stream types in a relatively short period of time (Rosgen 1996). The initial cause of the disturbance to stable form of the Spring Creek is probably due a combination of factors including, removal of the natural riparian vegetation and replacement with pasture grass, the removal of the beaver, and adjustments to the vertical profile of the creek as a result of the installation of human infrastructure such as roads and utilities.

The Spring Creek Restoration Project will prevent additional incision by implementing a series of grade control rock structures, adding additional flood capacity by connecting the stream to an active floodplain by channel excavation, and reestablishing the woody riparian vegetation by transplanting woody riparian vegetation on the newly created floodplains and unstable banks. These channel modifications will increase the flood capacity and reconnect the stream to the floodplain and provide a more stable stream system.

Re-connecting the floodplain with the active stream channel will aide in the long term stability of the river system in many ways. As the depth of water increases in the stream channel, the resulting shear stress on the banks of the stream also increases. As flood flows spread out onto the floodplain, they allow for large increases in flow capacity with relatively small increases in depth and therefore relief from rapidly increasing erosive forces in the stream channel. In addition, the occasional saturation of the floodplain provides a fertile growing environment for a diverse stock of woody riparian vegetation and wetland plants. This diverse vegetation provides excellent habitat for a variety of amphibians, and upland species like deer, elk, coyote, rabbits, etc. As these active floodplain areas are developed, it will provide additional habitat for beavers to re-inhabit the lower portions of the creek and aid in the long term stability of the ecosystem by creating more dams and shallow ponds.

Download the Spring Creek Assessment and Preliminary Design Report Here.

Construction of the initial phase of the Spring Creek restoration on Crowley Ranch in Chromo was completed this fall. Steep, eroding slopes were reshaped, additional floodplain benches created and 7 rock structures installed to slow the flow in the creek and prevent further erosion. We plan to seed the disturbed areas with native grasses and plant willows, cottonwoods and other riparian species on the newly constructed floodplains this spring.

Caption 1: Floodplain excavation and rock structure construction begins.








Caption 2: Rock structure in place










Caption 3: Rock structure with fresh beaver additions in place.