Thursday, August 13, 2015

Lake Isabelle in Indian Peaks Wilderness Drained for Dam Construction

Lake Isabelle has been drained in preparation for repair work on the reservoir’s drainage and flow control system. The work will repair a partial collapse of the water tunnel that was discovered in 2013. The project is expected to begin mid-August.

Located in Indian Peaks Wilderness Area west of Brainard Lake Recreation Area, the reservoir is operated by Lefthand Ditch Company, which has a long-standing easement to the reservoir that predates the 1978 Indian Peaks Wilderness designation.

To complete this project, crews must use motorized equipment and haul supplies by helicopter, which may be visible and audible to visitors in the wilderness and recreation areas. The parking area at Lefthand Park Reservoir will used as a staging area and will be closed during helicopter activities. Flight days are weather dependent and advance notice may not be possible. Equipment use will occur as needed during work days which will include weekends. The more days the crew can work uninterrupted, the shorter the project duration. Work is expected to continue through September.

A U.S. Forest Service permit was necessary to implement the necessary repairs, and the permit outlines mitigation measures negotiated to reduce impacts to area resources and visitors.


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