Eagle River, Eagle County, CO
“The Eagle River Recreational Enhancement plan augments our County and Municipal Master plans by focusing specifically on the river. We sometimes take for granted how easy it is to fish or boat all up and down the valley, but we needed to take a more systematic approach to planning for the future. RiverRestoration’s holistic and collaborative approach provided the County and all the different municipalities a common platform to protect future access to the river while ensuring the habitat is preserved.”
Eagle County government desired a Recreation Enhancement Plan that would balance fast growing recreational demands on the Eagle River with protection of the celebrated environment that stretched for over 40 miles through the center of the valley. They were eager to avoid reaching the tipping point of “loving their river to death” while providing diverse opportunities for future river access.
RiverRestoration was retained in 2005 to develop a recreation plan with input from multiple parties including the US Forest Service, BLM, CO Department of Transportation, Division of Wildlife, Eagle River Watershed Council, private landowners, commercial guides and outfitters as well as individuals across municipal boundaries.
Completed in just 12 months, the County now has a plan that separately prioritizes habitat, access, and recreation enhancement projects throughout the community. RiverRestoration developed a plan for Eagle County that provides balanced benefits to the growing number of people across seven municipalities in the area as well as to the abundant wildlife dependent on the Eagle River environment.
The Eagle River Recreation Enhancement Plan developed a recreational inventory and assessment of the Eagle River corridor from the headwaters to the mouth of Glenwood Canyon. The plan identifies 58 access points in 20 different reaches of the river. In-stream hazards for recreation were identified in 115 locations throughout this 60 mile stretch of the Eagle River.
The Eagle River Recreation Enhancement Plan includes site descriptions, use patterns, habitat conditions, parking sites, photographs, and recommendations for each point of access. Concept designs with itemized cost estimates were developed for 15 sites to enhance river recreation opportunities.