May 27, 2016--McPhee boat inspections get funding (Cortez Journal)

Efforts to prevent forest fires and invasive mussels are among the list of projects that may receive funding from the U.S. Forest Service this year. On Tuesday, the San Juan Title II Resource Advisory Committee recommended several projects throughout Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan counties to the Forest Service. The projects, if approved by the Forest Service, will be funded under the Title II provision of the Secure Rural Schools Act, designed to fund projects that improve conditions in national forests. In general, the work is done by private contractors. Notably, $15,000 will be geared toward continuing the inspection of non-native, invasive aquatic species at McPhee and House Creek boat ramps on McPhee Reservoir. Forest recreation planner Tom Rice said troublesome mussels, such as zebra and quagga, are commonly transported from other reservoirs like Lake Powell to non-infected waterways. The mussels have been known to destroy fisheries and the health of watersheds, as well as clog irrigation and drinking-water systems, costing exorbitant amounts to maintain. “We recognize the economic impact if mussels got into the infrastructure, the drinking-water and irrigation system that McPhee provides,” Rice said. “This is a stopgap project.” To view the full article visit the Cortez Journal.