Retired Ranger Checks 45 Year Old Project
Retired Ranger Returns
Dan Peters, Pagosa Ranger from 1967 to 1976, re-turned to the San Juan NF this summer to accessthe results of a project he implemented 45 years ago
The project was building erosion-control dams in the Valle Seco area, which was heavily used by large domestic sheep herds at the turn of the century.
That activity had caused the land to erode into large arroyos. Dan felt constructing dams across the arroyos would hold back silt to help stop erosion and allow arroyo bottoms to fill back in. So he used standby fire funds to hire an operator to work with the road crew’s bulldozer.
After several dams were built, evaluation during rain storms showed promise, and Dan invited RO staffers to come down and take a look. Not only did they agree to fund his project but offered funds to other forests for the same work. Few other forests took up the offer, so most of the allocated funds came to the Pagosa RD to build 175 dams over several years.
Dan took photos of all the dams after they were built and created a logbook. This summer he returned to take new photos at the original photo points. The arroyos have silted in and revegetated, just as he had hoped. Dan is now in the process of adding new photos to the log. At 86, he hopes to come back again next year to take photos of more dams. Thank you, Dan!
— Ron Decker, Retired Pagosa RD Recreation Staff
From The San Juan National Forest Newsletter