Your Five Rivers Chapter of Trout Unlimited has been working with many partners locally, statewide and nationally to seek solutions to the mine pollution drainage problems plaguing the Upper Animas River.
We recently passed a major milestone in this effort when an innovative Internet-based search for a pollution solution went live Feb. 6.
Innocentive is an Internet forum offering financial rewards (cash money) to global scientists and problem-solvers who devise new and effective solutions to specific technical problems.
The Animas River Stakeholders Group, a broad-based grassroots organization seeking to address a wide range of environmental problems in the upper Animas, last year decided to try to use Innocentive to launch an appeal for the toughest of the issues in the Upper Anima: mine drainage from the American Tunnel.
Five Rivers and TU National each contributed $1,000 to help launch this appeal through Innocentive. The appeal, which went online Feb. 6, sums up the challenge posed to problem-solvers around the world:
"We are seeking new or improved treatment methods to significantly reduce overall costs of removing metals from water draining from active and abandoned mines. Current lime treatment methods are expensive, produce large amounts of sludge and can take up lots of space. Any improvements to current lime systems or other treatment methods that will produce similar results are welcome."
Our own Ty Churchwell explained the potential of this project:
"Should we find an easier, less expensive way of dealing with mine water at 11,000 feet in really harsh conditions, it could have positive implications for trout fisheries all over the West and the world. Thank you for your support."
You can hear more about this and other work being done to preserve local coldwater fisheries by YOUR chapter with YOUR support at the Feb. 12 5RTU general meeting at the Lost Dog (see related post below). Until then, you can learn more about this effort here: https://www.innocentive.com/ar/challenge/9933520