Just off Tiger Road near Breckenridge, Summit County Trails and Resource Specialist Jason Lederer is doing what open space people love to do.
“Working on a large scale restoration project,” Lederer said.
Lederer is helping take a mile long stretch of the Swan River once damaged by dredge miners 100 years ago and transform it into what that landscape might have looked like before all the mining,
Which is easier said than done.
Piles of rock left behind had to be removed and a river had to be found to open up the valley and restore a winding river once buried under tons of dredge rock.
“It really is a subsurface stream and we had to dig down and expose that stream,” Lederer said.
The work is to fix what the miners did in the past while also building for the future.
“The majority of the product being manufactured from the dredge rock is road,” Lederer said.
Summit County and Breckenridge have teamed up to help pay the 2.4 million dollars needed to restore the valley, which has been seeded with vegetation and is already starting to see fish return to a once dead stream.
”We have seen some fish in here already,” Lederer said. “We’re not ready for them but they found their way.”
The area is closed for now, but in the coming years after more vegetation work and a trail is built, the idea is that people will be able to hike and fish along that stretch of the Swan River.
It’s one reason Lederer is so excited about restoring the river
“It’s important for our future and the landscape we want to protect,” Lederer said.