Warm Springs Wetland Mitigation
Warm Springs wetland lies in an intermountain basin in central Colorado. Melting snow in the mountains to the west seeps through limestone and other rocks to create globally-significant calcareous wetlands (fens). Over the past 10,000 years, peat (the partially decomposed remains of plants) has accumulated in these fens. Several decades ago, peat from Warm Springs wetland was mined for use as a soil amendment.
Warm Springs wetland is critical to The Nature Conservancy’s efforts to conserve nearby High Creek Fen, which it owns and manages. Warm Springs Wetland LLC purchased the 198-acre Warm Springs wetland site and established a wetland mitigation bank. Warm Springs Wetland LLC is improving 11 acres of the wetland that were mined for peat.
A year of groundwater monitoring and research documented that an on-site ditch was intercepting and diverting water needed to support the wetland. Biohabitats designed a plan to pipe a portion of the ditch and regrade the site so as to reestablish functional hydrology and promote re-establishment of wetland vegetation. Biohabitats served as the general contractor for the project, which included permit application and tracking, overseeing the earthwork subcontractor, and directing efforts to salvage plants.