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Bear Creek Lake State Park trails could be flooded to expand the reservoir. One group is fighting back.

Bear Creek Lake State Park trails could be flooded to expand the reservoir. One group is fighting back.

Cyclists ride trails in riparian habitat that will be inundated and lost forever if an expansion of Bear Creek lake is approved at Bear Creek…

Friday, Apr 22

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Cyclists ride trails in riparian habitat that will be inundated and lost forever if an expansion of Bear Creek lake is approved at Bear Creek Lake Park in Lakewood. Bear Creek Lake Park in Lakewood, which is being threatened by a proposed federal water project, may have found some government support.

On Monday, the Lakewood City Council will hear a proclamation supporting a group that is pushing for alternatives to the plan, which could radically expand the size of the reservoir there and inundate park land.

The Army Corps of Engineers and the Colorado Water Conservation Board are conducting a feasibility study to determine whether to expand the reservoir’s capacity to help meet Colorado’s increasing water needs. The project could raise the water level in Bear Creek Lake up to 50 feet, which would greatly expand the surface area of the lake, wipe out up to 12 miles of trails and inundate a mile of riparian habitat upstream. Informational signs at the park say the project could “result in change to (the) character of park recreation from land-based to water-based,” meaning much more of the park would be underwater.

The park is located on land owned by the Army Corps of Engineers, which dammed Bear Creek for flood control in 1977, and is leased to the city of Lakewood for recreation.

The Lakewood proclamation says the project could “dramatically alter Bear Creek Lake Park by drowning a significant portion of the current recreational and riparian areas,” and asks that project planners look for […]

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