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Final Remnants Of Golf Course In RMNP To Be Removed

When the National Park Service acquired Stead’s Ranch in Moraine Park from Edgar and Dorothy Stopher in 1962, the property included a 9-hole golf course. While the buildings and above ground infrastructure that were once part of Stead’s Ranch have long since been removed, remnants of the golf course and other below ground foundations and infrastructure remain.

Work will begin in mid August to remove the golf course tees and greens, fill in a man-made drainage ditch, and remove below grade foundations and infrastructure. This work is scheduled to be completed by 2009.
The tees and greens (over 1,100 cubic yards of material) need to be removed because these elevated areas have altered natural wetlands and are now harboring invasive plants such as Canada thistle and yellow toadflax.

By filling in the drainage ditch, natural wetland function can be restored to the area that is now being drained by the ditch. Heavy equipment will be used to remove the tees and greens, fill in the drainage ditch, and excavate and remove below grade foundations and other infrastructure. Upon completion, all excavated areas will be restored to natural grade, and all disturbed areas, including haul roads, will be replanted with native plants or reseeded with native seed. When the entire project is complete, the natural hydrologic regime will be restored.

Prior to beginning the work, park staff will be collecting seeds from native plants in the area. These seeds will be used to produce plants and seeds for the restoration of the area. Herbicides will also be applied in the project area in order to control the spread of noxious weeds.

Excavation work is expected to begin in mid-August when conditions are driest to avoid impacts to wetlands. Work hours will be limited to weekdays. No work will be performed from August 29 to October 13 during the fall elk mating season. Work may resume on October 14, but only if elk mating behavior and elk viewing in Moraine Park would not be unduly compromised. After late October, work will proceed, weather permitting.

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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