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Lefthand Watershed Oversight Group

Help LWOG carry out its mission to protect and restore Left Hand Creek Watershed. Your donation will support LWOG's Stewardship Program and help us protect the legacy we are building in Left Hand Creek and ensure long term success of our projects!

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Restoration Program

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

Animals
General Public
General Public/Unspecified
Outdoor Recreationists
Wildlife Enthusiasts

Description

Our Restoration Program addresses urgent and discrete problems and concerns identified through our Watershed Science Program; to enhance multiple benefits such as water quality, ecological function, flood resilience, agricultural efficiency, recreational access, and improving the natural character of the watershed. As part of this program we facilitate and lead watershed planning and implementation projects, consistent with applicable laws, property rights, water rights, local policies and procedures, management plans, and master plan guidance. We strive to implement projects that are transferable and repeatable across communities.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

In 2017 we completed 10 restoration projects on 70 private properties in response to damage cause by the 2013 floods. Project planning, design, and construction costs exceeded seven million dollars. The projects were designed and implemented to reduce future flood risks, stabilize damaged streambed and banks, restore the ecological health of the watershed, and ensure human health and safety. Our staff procured and managed engineering, construction, and revegetation consultants and contractors to implement the work. We worked together with landowners to ensure that projects were designed and implemented for the long term benefit of the creek and community. Upon completion these projects improve overall quality, health, and long-term resilience of the watershed.

Outreach & Education

Class

Education 

Beneficiaries

Children ages 5 to 21
General Public/Unspecified
Outdoor Recreationists
Teachers
Wildlife Enthusiasts

Description

Lefthand Watershed Group's Outreach and Education Program is an integral, innate, piece to all other programs. Under this program, we facilitate stakeholder communication, and strive to serve the needs of landowners and other stakeholders, with strong public and financial support. Activities include leading volunteer events, organizing and leading public meetings, engaging community members in restoration projects, and responding promptly to community concerns and questions about the watershed.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

In 2017 we increased awareness within the community of the resources and benefits Lefthand Watershed Oversight Group brings to the community. Highlights include:
• Launching a new website! With the new site we will be able to easily distribute information to our stakeholders and continue to "serve as a hub for watershed issues."
• Watershed wide mailers. Residents living along a stream corridor in Boulder County received an LWOG Regional Stream Stewardship & Recovery Handbook postcard.
• Hosting 12 outreach and volunteer events including Pint Nights, Stewardship Handbook workshops and celebrations, volunteer restoration events, and more!
• Presenting at ten partner events and board meetings.
• Hosting 160 landowner meetings for our Plains and Foothills projects.

Stewardship Program

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

General Public/Unspecified
Outdoor Recreationists
Wildlife Enthusiasts

Description

Our Stewardship Program strives to build a community-wide stewardship ethic to support the health and resilience of our watershed for future generations. We work towards this goal by helping our community members become informed, involved, and invested in watershed stewardship through participation in monitoring and protection of recently restored areas of the watershed. We emphasize an adaptive management approach throughout all of our stewardship projects, so that we learn through the process of stewardship, and adjust stewardship actions based on what's learned. Using this community-base and adaptive approach, we aim to carry out creative and innovative stewardship projects that have value and transferability throughout the state.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

This year we completed the Regional Stream Stewardship & Recovery Handbook, an educational resource for private landowners to better understand their streamside properties in the context of the larger watershed. The Regional Stream Stewardship & Recovery Handbook serves as a resource for landowners to learn about their streamside properties, including appropriate stewardship solutions to address weeds, erosion, or other issues; information about how individual properties matter in the context of the watershed, environment, and others living along the creek; and reference guides for implementing stewardship projects.

Watershed Science Program

Class

Environment 

Beneficiaries

General Public/Unspecified
Outdoor Recreationists
Wildlife Enthusiasts

Description

LWOG conducts project-specific and watershed-wide monitoring to better understand trends in water quality, water quantity, and stream health. Since inception we have collected water quality data via River Watch monitoring. We collaborate with stakeholders to collect data to ensure the effectiveness of flood recovery restoration, mine-related cleanup and other activities affecting stream health and water quality.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

In 2017, LWOG expanding monitoring services in collaboration with other entities interested in Left Hand Creek, on a fee-for-service basis. LWOG worked with Trout Unlimited and the U.S. Forest Service to conduct an assessment of the decrease in lead contamination following restoration of an informal recreational shooting area on Lower Creek, a tributary to Left Hand Creek. Samples of stream water and bottom sediment were collected from Lower Creek and Left Hand Creek during snowmelt runoff, rainfall runoff, and low flow. The samples were analyzed for total lead and suspended sediment. Results showed a clear, major decline of about 75% in concentrations of total lead in the samples of Lower Creek water collected after the completion of the restoration project, compared to those collected prior to the restoration project.

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