Vail Daily letter: Cleaning up Gore Creek |

Vail Daily letter: Cleaning up Gore Creek

Regarding the feature article on March 24, “Creek cleanup seeks private help”:

As a Gore Creek property owner and based on my experience as a US Forest Service volunteer measuring the impact of traction sand on the aquatic life in Gore Creek, I am persuaded that the overwhelming majority of the Gore Creek water quality problems are attributable to traction sand and the toxic chemicals washed into the creek along with the sand, for example, mag chloride and others. Neither of those pollutants is within the control of the property owners along the creek. The town of Vail and CDOT could help Gore Creek recover from past damage and alleviate or eliminate future damage from this source, but at substantial financial cost. The town of Vail recently exempted itself from attempts to control the damage on its 40 percent of the stream bank, except to the extent of its efforts to reduce and treat storm water run-off, which might be a small part of the problem. Perhaps some leadership by example will help.

The town of Vail and Eagle County could also help by mandating the use of organic landscaping materials by homeowners and landscape maintenance professionals. The sustainable environment advocates might also campaign with the area retailers of landscape maintenance products to offer organic materials and make them more readily available to property owners. The same advocates might also identify and recommend appropriate trees, shrubs and other plants and products which are environmentally sound, constructive in maintaining the stream bank, and attractive.

We have tried to do our part by using organic landscaping materials, re-building our section of the rocky stream bank (with required approvals) which was devastated by the record flood several years ago, and salvaging trees threatened by same, and by planting trees along the bank to strengthen it. We hope that all helps to preserve, strengthen and beautify Gore Creek.

Joe McHugh


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