Sunday, July 28, 2013

Lake Isabelle repair and helicopter traffic

Work on Lake Isabelle, located west of the Brainard Lake Recreation Area (BLRA), could start as early as August 1 and last until the end of September. Lefthand Ditch Company (LDC) will use a generator throughout this time frame and haul in equipment intermittently by helicopter to repair the reservoir’s drainage and flow control system. Visitors to the BLRA and Lake Isabelle may see and hear helicopter and equipment operations.

Equipment hauling by helicopter will be limited to ten flight days throughout the possible eight week period of repair work, during mornings of cool, calm days. The parking area at Lefthand Park Reservoir will be closed during helicopter activities. Flight days are weather dependent and advance notice may not be possible. Generator use will occur as needed during LDC work days which include weekends. The more days the crew can work uninterrupted, the shorter the project duration.

Lefthand Ditch Company, who owns the water rights in Lake Isabelle, planned this much needed repair years ago. Work has been repeatedly delayed due to high altitude snow and winter weather conditions. This summer has proven ideal for completing operations in a timely fashion and LDC hopes to finish the project work before winter storms can roll in.

A U.S. Forest Service permit was necessary for LDC to move forward with repair plans, which outlines mitigation measures negotiated to reduce impacts to area resources and visitors. LDC has a long standing easement to the reservoir that predates the 1978 Indian Peaks Wilderness designation by over 50 years.


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