Unmatched in North America
Telski has set a standard in the region for best management practices applied to watershed protection since wetland restoration efforts began to take place on the golf course in 1997. Since then, the resort has made watershed protection a priority and will continue to implement monitoring programs that ensure resort operations do not adversely impact water quality.
- 40+ acres of successful wetland restoration and enhancement on and off-site. Hosted Colorado Riparian Association conference in 2000 to highlight restoration successes.
- Prospect Basin Fen Protection Program with ongoing academic and scientific study (see San Juan Fens Partnership details below).
- Perpetual conservation easements on all wetlands within resort lands and Mountain Village (100+ acres).
- Wetlands Management Plan including extensive BMP’s for golf course and ski area that must be studied and signed by every field worker and contractor to Telski.
- Hydrologic Assessment of ski area, complete baseline mapping of all surface waterways to identify erosion and stormwater issues and prioritize restoration projects (see details below).
- Complete water quality testing on all streams before, during, and after flowing through golf course as part of Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary System program.
- Comparative water quality analyses on neighboring Bear and Turkey creeks as related to Prospect Creek before and after trail development activities.
- Environment-sensitive 2001 Prospect Bowl expansion using several innovative construction techniques including helicopter and hand logging, stump grinding, wood chipping, rock crushing, preservation of wildlife connectivity and more.
- Only native seed mixes used for revegetation.
- On-mountain vegetation cover analysis to develop best approaches for increasing vegetative cover on ski runs.
- Comprehensive weed control program throughout ski area and golf course.
- Bark beetle monitoring and control program with Forest Service.
- Earth-friendly hydraulic and other oils used in machinery.
Our resort prides itself on its application of watershed protection practices to resort operations, and is working on a complete assessment of the ski area to identify areas of hydrologic impact caused by ski trail and road construction. The hydrologic assessment will provide a complete understanding of the hydrologic regime of the lands within the Telluride Ski Area. Mapping of all surface waterways and their complete drainage network serves as a basemap for the assessment, with specific channel reaches being rated using a system that incorporates geomorphic and ecological characteristics to identify potential watershed restoration, mitigation, and enhancement sites, or sites that should be protected. This process is used to prioritize sites in an effort to reduce sediment discharge and other impacts to downstream environments within Telluride’s San Miguel Watershed.
San Juans Fen Partnership
Telski’s award-winning Prospect Bowl expansion in 2001 utilized several innovative trail construction techniques to minimize erosion of new trails and avoid impacts to riparian areas, preserve the natural feeling of the mountain, and protect the habitat of the locally reintroduced lynx. Borne as a result of the expansion, scientific studies of high alpine fens were begun to better understand these important ecosystems that exist in Prospect Basin and throughout the San Juan Mountains.
Fens are wetlands that are rich in organic peat matter and that support remarkable and rare plant and animal life. The Prospect Basin fens, like many in the San Juans, represent unique ecological niches. In Prospect Basin, the age of the fens stretch back in time approximately 10,000 years. Since many of the wetland plants associated with fens are clonal, these fens provide a valuable baseline source of information on climate, plants, insects, carbon sequestration, and other useful characteristics of mountain environments over time.
Telski supports the continued education, scientific monitoring and analyses of the Prospect Basin fens and those existing in the San Juan Mountains so that they can be safeguarded throughout our national forests. The San Juans Fen Partnership supports a high level of fen protection in the current Grand Mesa Uncompahgre (GMUG) National Forest and San Juan National Forest management plan revisions that are now taking place in southwestern Colorado. Additionally, the Partnership intends to incorporate outreach training for these and other land managers into the fen studies to ensure their continued protection.
Made up of the Town of Mountain Village, the Town of Telluride, San Miguel County, Telluride Ski & Golf Resort, Sheep Mountain Alliance, Colorado State University, Mountain Studies Institute and the local community at-large, the Partnership is working closely with the United States Forest Service, which manages much of the high country in the San Juan Mountains, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which has been providing grants to identify and study the fens.
The Prospect Basin fen studies at the Telluride Ski Resort are the only studies of their type being performed in the United States. The San Juans Fen Partnership oversees further scientific research, monitoring and analyses of the fens in the San Juans region, as well as continued popular education about fens and their importance to local forest and alpine ecology. Dr. David Cooper, PhD., of Colorado State University directs the scientific studies and monitoring programs of fens throughout the San Juan Mountains.
For more information about Dr. Cooper’s scientific fen research, visit www.mountainstudies.org/research.