Segment D

Segment D extends from below the dam for Cheesman Reservoir through Cheesman Canyon to Jefferson County Highway 126 and was heavily impacted by erosion and sedimentation from the 2002 Hayman fire.  The ORVs are:

Fisheries:

This segment contains exceptionally abundant fish habitat and is a nationally important producer of wild brown and rainbow trout.  According to the Colorado Division of Wildlife, there are more than 9,000 miles of trout streams in Colorado, of which 112.5 miles are designated wild trout streams and 167.8 miles are “Gold Medal” trout streams.  This 3-mile stretch carries both designations.  Wild trout waters contain fish raised entirely within the natural environment; they are not stocked with hatchery fish. Gold Medal waters provide outstanding angling opportunities for large trout.  Cheesman Canyon is considered the “crown jewel” with more than 500 pounds of fish over a 14-square-foot surface area.  The Colorado Division of Wildlife ranks this among the most productive trout streams in the State, if not the country.

Recreation:

Cheesman Canyon Ha many non-motorized trails, e.g., Gill Trail, on both sides of the S. Platte River.  These trails provide great hiking with outstanding views of the Canyon, S. Platte River and  fishery within the Canyon.  Trails can be accessed from the entry to the Canyon above Deckers and from above at Cheesman Reservoir.

Wildlife:

Segment D contains Pawnee montane skipper butterfly populations and habitat.  The Pawnee montane skipper qualifies under the wildlife population ORV defined for this analysis.  The montane skipper is a globally rare subspecies found only in the area of Platte Canyon from near South Platte up to approximately 7400 feet in elevation.  To add to the significance of this value, this subspecies of the skipper is listed in the Federal Register (52 FR 36176) as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.  The river, over time, has created the rugged canyon topography that is now the butterfly’s preferred habitat.