Eagle River Watershed Council receives award | VailDaily.com

Eagle River Watershed Council receives award

Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the DailyVolunteers from Vail Mountain School work on the riverbanks of the Eagle River as part of the Eagle River Watershed Council's 1.6-mile Edwards restoration project. The council was recently honored for the project.

AVON, Colorado – The Eagle River Watershed Council was recently honored by the Colorado Riparian Institute for its work on the riverbanks of the Eagle River at their 1.6-mile Edwards restoration project.

he annual award for “Excellence in Riparian Management” read, “For leading by example – creatively and tirelessly – to protect and restore riparian floodplains throughout the Eagle River Watershed, educating and mobilizing citizen stewards in the process.”

ERWC Executive Director Melissa Macdonald said the award belongs to those “citizen stewards,” or volunteers, of which there were 535 in 2011 who gave 1,928 hours to plant more than 3,000 trees, bushes and shrubs on the reconfigured banks of the Eagle River.

“The river banks had been denuded from decades of cattle grazing and poor land use and were calving off into the river,” she said. “Not only did the volunteers work on revegetating the banks, they also harvested willows for the project, assembled willow wattles to hold the toes of the banks, crafted beaver cages to protect new plantings, mulched and watered.”

Riparian communities in the western U.S. are known as the most productive habitats in North America, and provide irreplaceable wildlife habitat for breeding, wintering, and migration, the Watershed Council said.

The council’s board of directors has recently elected new officers for 2012. They are Susan Pollack, president; Pete Denise, vice president; Phil Hancock, treasurer; and Cliff Thompson, secretary. Kathy Chandler-Henry, board president for the past three years, will remain active on the board.

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