Uravan Uranium Mill restoration

Background    

The State of Colorado received $1 one million from Umetco Minerals Corp. in natural resource damages resulting from the operation of its Uravan Uranium Mill in southwestern Colorado to restore and/or replace natural resources.

Restoration 

In 2005, the Natural Resource Trustees approved four projects for restoration: 

  1. The Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety completed the Uravan Mine Restoration Project, which addressed hazards and environmental issues associated with abandoned uranium mines in the Club Mesa, Eagle Basin, and Long Peak areas west of Colorado Highway 141 between Naturita and the Uravan Mill.  
  2. The Western Colorado Interpretive Association, in partnership with The Unaweep/Tabeguache Byway Council completed the Uravan Ball Park/Campground Project, which converted six acres of the Uravan Ball Park into a campground, including improved vegetation, and camping facilities such as a well for running water, accessible electricity, and a boat launch.
  3. Together, Montrose County, the Bureau of Land Management, and The Nature Conservancy implemented the Uravan Cooperative Weed Management Plan to restore the native plant communities by controlling and managing non-native, invasive weeds along the San Miguel River and its tributaries.
  4. The United States Forest Service completed the Uncompahgre Plateau Restoration Project that treated noxious weeds and improved and conserved streams for Colorado River cutthroat trout in National Forest System lands on the Uncompahgre Plateau east of Naturita and northwest of Norwood, Colorado. 

In 2021, the trustees awarded the remaining funds to the West End Economic Development Project to implement ten projects that will help restore natural resources, support economic development, and improve recreational activities. This includes developing river access, ADA compliant accessible fishing docks, invasive weed control and planting native species, developing better restroom facilities and wells for potable water, and emergency services.  

ADA compliant fishing dock.
Photo above shows an ADA compliant fishing dock.

The confluence of the San Miguel River and Dolores River where the West End Economic Development Project will manage invasive weeds.
Photo above shows the confluence of the San Miguel River and Dolores River where the West End Economic Development Project will manage invasive weeds.

Contact

Doug Jamison
doug.jamison@state.co.us
303-692-3404