Tenderfoot Mountain Changes Implemented this Summer
Credit: News For White River National Forest
The Tenderfoot Mountain Road (#66.2B) in Frey Gulch will be closed and rehabilitated in order to improve water quality and provide improved habitat for multiple fish and wildlife species.
Fish populations in Frey Gulch are being negatively affected from sediment sources running from the road directly into the stream channel. The stream is currently in a diminished stream health class and fine sediment is contributing to a loss of pool and spawning habitat. Rehabilitation of the road will stabilize soils and minimize active and future sediment delivery to Frey Gulch.
The road accesses an area identified in the White River National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan as a Forested Landscape Linkage. This is an area managed as a movement corridor for larger fauna such as carnivores. Tenderfoot Mountain is home to a residential elk herd that uses this area year round. Recent studies also show that Tenderfoot Mountain is part of a statewide movement corridor for Canada lynx. “Restoration of this road will provide increased availability of habitat for all wildlife species including important prey species for Canada lynx.” said Ashley Nettles, District Wildlife Biologist.
The road will be closed and rehabilitated using heavy equipment and hand work. The compacted soil will be broken up or “ripped” to allow native vegetation to re-establish in the road corridor. Soil amendments will be added to the ripped road bed to increase nutrient availability to native vegetation. Additionally, native plant seeding and tree planting will occur within the road bed in order to facilitate forest growth. Steep sections will be re-contoured to deter erosion. This work will occur in mid-July and August 2015.
The road closure will affect hunting access in the fall. To offset impacts, Road 66.2A will be opened from September 1 to November 23 to full sized vehicles which can be driven about one mile and gain about 1,000 feet in elevation. From that point, ATVs can be driven another mile to Tenderfoot Mountain (11,441 feet). This will allow for limited motor vehicle access for hunters. ATVs have a maximum width of 50 inches.
Trail construction for the Tenderfoot Mountain Motorcycle Trails project has begun and will be completed in 2017. An Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) grant-funded 4-person crew will build about six miles of trail this summer with help from Summit County Off-Road Riders, Friends of the Dillon Ranger District, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, Rocky Mountain Youth Corps, National Forest Foundation and the Colorado Statewide OHV crew.
For additional information, contact the Dillon Ranger District at 970-468-5400.