In both the 1976 and 2013 flood events, the communities of Waltonia and Mountain Shadows were heavily impacted by flood damage. Known for their mountain homes that line the river edge, many seasonal and year-round homes were threatened, damaged, or completely lost by rising water levels and the flush of sediment and debris. The 2015 Natural Resource Conservation Service assessment identified the three projects in this area as high priority to restore. Nearly 1 mile of river corridor was restored by BTWC and project partners to improve upon the emergency response armoring and repair efforts conducted directly after the flood. These projects reshaped and reinforced eroding river banks to provide additional stability and safety to the land and riverside homes; added resiliency to state and local infrastructure used by hundreds of residents and millions of annual visitors to the Big Thompson river (55,000 of which are anglers) and Rocky Mountain National Park; and perhaps most importantly, solidified a sense of healing for the communities impacted by the 2013 flood by restoring recreational access and the wild beauty of the area. After three seasons of construction this set of projects was completed in May 2018.
Before (winter 2013)
Post-flood photo of a house in the Mountain Shadows reach. The flood scoured banks and tore away vegetation, and experienced severe erosion such as what is seen here, threatening to undermine the home.
Waltonia & Mountain Shadows
project length: 4,920 linear feet
25 participating landowners
57 in-stream structures
3,805 willow and cottonwood live stakes planted
4,639 container plants installed
4.3 acres seeded