Will the Big Thompson Canyon and Its Parks Ever be Restored?
The flood that wiped out many areas in the Big Thompson canyon back in 2013 still look the same. Nothing has been done and many are wondering what will be done.
Many residents, including myself, are wondering when the Big Thompson canyon will be restored to pre-flood standards. Many of us looked forward to heading up the canyon to take part of all it's beauty and offerings.
Didn't matter what you wanted to do. Picnics, rafting, tubing, fishing, hiking etc., many of those activities you just can't do anymore because 90% of them were wiped out. The main areas in question still sit buried in mud, trees, concrete and twisted metal. So what's up?
The parks/natural areas in question that many are curious about, and remain closed, include:
- Viestenz-Smith Mountain Park
- The Narrows
- The Forks
- Sleepy Hollow
- Cedar Cove
- Loveland Hogbacks
The Viestenz-Smith Mountain Park is 10-acres that is owned by the City of Lovleand while the rest are maintained by Larimer county and the Forest Service.
So what will become of them? Last month, over 70 residents attended an open house to view their concerns and offer ideas as to what they would like to see for restoration and it was clear that they wanted to see things the way they were, if not better, with more bathrooms, picnic tables etc.
For anglers, the Big Thompson wild trout habitat was just about wiped out. The river is not stocked, never has been, so the fishing there is all but gone until a plan is devised to restore the natural habitat. In fact, it's one of the few areas left on the Front Range that is still classified as a "wild trout" area. The Forest Service is coming up with a plan to work on County Road 43 which had 3 main access points along the road although they are considering getting at least one open as soon as possible.