RMC executed a multi-year, multi-contract stream restoration and mine tailings remediation project along Kerber Creek over a 5-year time span. The Kerber Creek project is located between the towns of Bonanza and Villa Grove, Colorado in Saguache County.

The Kerber Creek Mine Tailings Removal project was performed to improve the water quality of Kerber Creek. The project involved removing tailings containing high metals concentrations from the banks of Kerber Creek and placing the tailings into on-site repositories, or treating them in-situ by amending the tailings and soil with calcium carbonate, calcium hydroxide, and mushroom compost. In total, RMC remediated 20 tailings impacted areas along the creek (64 acres) and re-vegetated the areas with native vegetation. Storm water best management practices were installed to control erosion and reduce sedimentation during construction.

RMC reconstructed an estimated four miles of Kerber Creek to stabilize channel boundaries. Stream stability was achieved by placing new pools, stream meanders, rock barbs, rock cross-vanes, cattle crossings, diamond structures, and rock J-hook vanes along the creek. 138 stream structures were installed. Transplanting native sedge grasses and willow clumps was conducted as well. The restored areas were fenced to minimize wildlife contact while vegetation was taking hold.

The work was initially assigned to RMC through a contract with the BLM; however, much of the funding for the work came from Trout Unlimited and the Natural Resource Conservation Service and was performed primarily on private land. Both the RMC project manager and field personnel consulted with landowners prior to construction to ensure that all work would meet their expectations and again after project completion to ensure that they approved of the final result.

RMC’s Kerber Creek Restoration and Mine Tailings Removal project was part of the nationally recognized Kerber Creek Restoration Project, which received two prestigious awards — the U.S. Forest Service Water Partner of the Year for the Rocky Mountain Region and the BLM 2010 Hardrock Mineral Environmental Award for implementing the project. http://salidacitizen.com/2010/10/kerber-creek-restoration-project-given-two-prestigious-awards/