Project Summary

Location: Lake County, Colorado
Clients: USDA Forest Service
Contract Value: $75,000

RMC supported the U.S. Forest Service in completing a watershed study of abandoned mined land (AML) sites in the St. Kevin Gulch watershed to identify AML features that are degrading surface-water quality in the watershed. The studies included site characterization work in portions of St. Kevin, Shingle Mill, Gleason, and Temple Gulches, located in the Sawatch Mountains. Phase II ESA Tasks

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Site Characterization Tasks

  • Prepared comprehensive bibliography of all existing site information—analytical data, mining claims, land ownership, and mine history
  • Entered bibliography, as well as the data in the reports into a database that was linked to an interactive GIS map
  • Prepared an Existing Data Report that summarized the mining history, claim ownership, and analytical data collected from AML features along each of the four gulches and identified areas where there was little or no data
  • Used GIS map to identify potential waste rock/tailings and surface water sampling locations for a watershed-wide sampling event, as well as identify owners of the claims or sample locations on private property so that access letters could be sent
  • Screened sampling results against Colorado aquatic life standards and human health standards and EPA ecological criteria and industrial human health criteria to identify the waste rock and tailing piles that were contributing the highest concentrations of heavy metals to the steams
  • Prepared Data Summary Report documenting all data collected and the results of the sampling event