Letters to the editor
In response to the article “Nature hits history at Camp Hale”: The debate about the area is not just about “historic vs. natural. Pumping water from the sands and gravels that underlie the fill brought in by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1942 will definitely affect the flow of the Eagle River.
Doug Kemper, who obviously has Aurora’s interests in mind, either has no background in groundwater geology or glacial geology, both of which are important to understand the groundwater flows of high mountain valleys.
Prior the the fill being brought in to cover the wetland, the Camp Hale area was a glacial ground moraine underlain by unsorted sands, silts, boulders, cobbles and gravels left by the retreat of the last of the ice advances. Throughout the subsurface there are also gravel and sand-filled channels formed by the rushing water underneath the melting ice. These channels and the rest of the moraine material carry the ground water to the low point of the valley (the north end), right where the Eagle River begins its rush down the canyon toward Red Cliff, and at that point the ground water adds additional flow to the river on the surface.
In the spring, when the snows are thawing, the surface water and the groundwater flow to the river. As the summer dries the area, the river begins to give water back to the groundwater in the sediments. Pumping water from the subsurface in the valley will cause a pressure surface to form (called a pizeometric surface), which will tilt away from the river, causing water to leave the river, entering the groundwater to be pumped to Aurora and Colorado Springs.
Mr. Kemper states that the aquifer is separated from the stream. No way! In a glacial ground moraine, nothing is homogeneous.
Fred “Skip” Kinsley
I read with interest the dichotomy between the Tipsline comment about the lack of coverage of our local politics by the local publications and Kaye Ferry’s column addressing “appearance of propriety” by our local elected officials.
I think it is a positive statement about our community that these issues are so often addressed in the local press, though not always by paid staff of the Daily.
I look forward to the weekly columns of Kaye, Richard
See Letters, page A14