From the Del Norte Prospector (Stan Moyer):
Heather R. Dutton made a “Plaza Project” presentation, describing progress in a long-term effort to improve, both in appearance and safety characteristics, of the Seven Mile Plaza Reach of the Rio Grande between Monte Vista and Del Norte.
She is the coordinator of the Rio Grande Headwaters Restoration Project (RiGHT).
A five-month study partially funded with $40,000 from the Roundtable and described as “Phase One” is finished, with decisions made on reconstruction of several diversion headgates on the river, and improvement of damaged wetlands, formerly a favorite illegal dumping spot for refrigerators and miscellaneous junk.
One of the most prominent of the areas to be restored offered three choices, Dutton said: “A concrete diversion dam, an all- rock diversion or a half-concrete, half-rock structure allowing for fish and boat passage,” the selected alternative for the Prairie Ditch Headgate.
An automated headgate has been finished by virtue of the hard work of a nearby inhabitant, a kindly human, Dutton clarified, not fish. The automation of all the headgates in the Seven Mile area has been chosen.
Stream banks near the McDonald Ditch are also expected to be shored up in the future.