Tuesday, July 31 2012, 09:43 PM CDT
Keeping clean water flowing
By Krystle Henderson/KTVL.com
ASHLAND, Ore. - A group of young volunteers cleaned out a sediment trap on Mount Ashland Tuesday that's been filling up for eight years.
A dam catches what otherwise could go into the water supply. Digging up the sediment that's collected, gives Mount Ashland an idea of how much erosion is actually happening on the mountain. It's part of the mountain's effort to keep extra sediment out of rivers and reservoirs.
"Before when they cleaned this out in 2004, they had pulled out what turned out to be 0.18 yards per year which is a very minimal amount of sediment to be caught," Brian Tekulve with Mount Ashland said.
That's why workers decided to wait eight years to start digging it out again.
But some say workers aren't doing enough.
"That debris basin only collects from a small portion of the ski area and not the entire ski area so their statement is misleading to say the least," Rogue Group Sierra Club member John Sully said.
He's even more concerned if the ski park ends up expanding.
Mount Ashland says it's doing more than collecting the sediment.
"We have the water bars coming across the road which divert the water back to its natural course," Tekulve said. "And we do a lot of work with re-vegetation on the hill, planting grass, anything that's going to root itself is going to hold the soil in and wont allow the erosion to happen."
The Mount Ashland expansion proposal is still going through the legal process. Ski area managers say they expect to get an answer from the judge, if it's a go, at any time.