Regional Offices > Laramie Region > Laramie Region News > Game and Fish grant to help Crow Creek Revival project

Game and Fish grant to help Crow Creek Revival project

July 17, 2019
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Laramie - The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is pleased to provide a $10,000 grant to the Laramie County Conservation District to help restore, revitalize and enhance the ecological values and functions of Crow Creek and its tributaries for public enjoyment. The grant is provided by the Game and Fish Department’s Habitat Trust Fund.
 
For more than a century, urbanization has influenced Crow Creek’s geomorphology to reflect that of a flood conveyance channel instead of a natural functioning stream system. Stream function has been lost due to channel straightening, and in some areas, complete re-routing. Urbanization has led to floodplain reduction from more than a quarter-mile to less than 50 yards in some reaches.
 
Reduction in floodplain width and channel straightening has increased velocities, broadened channel widths, decreased channel depths, and nearly eliminated bank storage capabilities. These compounded impacts effectively reduced all potential for physical in-channel habitat and adjacent riparian habitat. The lack of riparian habitat paired with a wider, shallower channel leads to increased water temperatures. Low flow habitat for fisheries is also limiting during mid to late summer.
 
In 2017, the City of Cheyenne, the Cheyenne Board of Public Utilities and the Laramie County Conservation District began working on restoration planning for Crow Creek. A group of interested local, state and federal government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and other interested individuals formed a coordinated group to lead the Crow Creek revitalization efforts. The group calls itself Crow Creek Revival (CCR). 
Throughout 2019, CCR and its partners have developed an engineering blueprint to address channel restoration to improve stream morphology, geometry and habitat. The design from River Design Group of Whitefish, Mont., also includes several wetland concepts to aid in water quality impairments and sediment storage. The $10,000 grant will help pay for the implementation phase of the project for a reach of Crow Creek from Happy Jack Road downstream to Westland Road in Cheyenne.
 
The Game and Fish Department is currently working with project partners for U.S. Corps of Engineers and Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality permitting requirements.  Game and Fish will also assist CCR to acquire additional implementation funds, as the project is expected to cost about $800,000. “We have about $235,000 tentatively secured for implementation at this time,” said Christina Barrineau, Aquatic Habitat Biologist for the Game and Fish Department’s Laramie Region. That amount includes the $10,000 grant from Game and Fish.
 She said CCR is also working with the City of Cheyenne and other adjacent property owners to gain access to the stream and get their approval on the design elements.
 
Implementation of the project is planned for summer/fall 2020. Once completed, the project will benefit fish species such as bigmouth shiner, common shiner, Iowa darter, central stoneroller, as well as bird and mammal species that depend on the Crow Creek riparian area. “Game and Fish is looking forward to working with Crow Creek Revival to implement this habitat enhancement project through Wyoming’s capital city,” Barrineau said.
 
You can learn more about the project and follow Crow Creek Revival on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CrowCreekRevival/.
 

 

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