Segment E

Segment E extends From Jefferson County Highway 126 to the confluence with the North Fork at South Platte, CO and was heavily impacted by erosion and sedimentation from both the 1996 Buffalo Creek and 2002 Hayman fires.  The ORVs are:

Recreational:

This segment provides outstanding dispersed and developed recreational opportunities such as camping, picnicking, hiking, fishing, scenic driving, and other day-use activities.  The quality and diversity of developed and dispersed recreation opportunities in this segment and the accessibility and proximity of the area to major metropolitan areas provide an excellent year-round recreation resource.  The recreational study for the Two Forks EIS indicated that recreational use of public land in the project area exceeds 304,000 recreational visitor-days per year.  (This includes an area larger than the river corridor, but most of the visitor use was projected to occur along the river, including the North Fork.)  A survey conducted by the South Platte Ranger District in 1993 lists the wide range of activities that occur within Segments E and H.  In addition to the premier fly fishing activity that occurs in the upper portion (upper 60 percent) of this segment, the Paralyzed Veterans of America hosts an annual 3-day fishing derby and outing for more than 750 people with disabilities, their families, senior citizens, and developmentally disabled youths.  This event occurs near the historic site of Twin Cedars at the lower end of the segment.  The area is also popular for waterfowl hunting. This segment is considered the best recreational river within the region of analysis, primarily because of the amount and diversity of opportunities presented to such a large population base.

Fisheries:

The Colorado Division of Wildlife lists the South Platte from the Wigwam Club to the confluence with the North Fork— approximately 85 percent of this segment’s length—as Gold Medal waters.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Resource Category 1 rating extends from the Wigwam Club to Scraggy View Picnic Grounds, approximately 45 percent of the segment and Resource Category 2 extends from Scraggy View to Strontia Springs Reservoir  Gold Medal and Resource Category 1 waters were previously described under Segment D.  Resource Category 2 waters are also outstandingly remarkable in that they represent aquatic habitat that, if impacted by development, must be mitigated in kind for no net loss.

Wildlife:

Pawnee montane skipper butterfly and habitat.  Noteworthy wildlife records include active prairie falcon eyries on dominant rock outcrops, severe winter range for mule deer throughout this segment, turkey concentration areas on the eastern portion of the segment, and Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep overall habitat in the lowermost portion of this segment.  The Preble’s meadow jumping mouse was located in this segment in 1999.  Bald eagles are known to use this segment for winter foraging and roosting, and potential habitat exists for the Ute ladies tresses orchid.  This segment is within the boundary of designated critical habitat for the Mexican spotted owl.