Blasting operation set for Thursday afternoon in Hermosa area

Trails will be closed about two hours for safety

Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file
About 50 volunteers showed last month to help Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the U.S. Forest Service stock East Fork Hermosa Creek with native Colorado cutthroat trout in the creek north of Durango. Enlarge photo

Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file About 50 volunteers showed last month to help Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the U.S. Forest Service stock East Fork Hermosa Creek with native Colorado cutthroat trout in the creek north of Durango.

Blasting operations are set to begin Thursday in Hermosa Creek Special Management Area behind Purgatory Resort as crews start to build a fish barrier for a cutthroat trout reintroduction program.

The Hermosa Creek and West Cross trails will be closed about two hours Thursday afternoon, the U.S. Forest Service said in a news release. The first blasting operation should begin about 3 p.m.

“U.S. Forest Service personnel will be on-site to discuss the project with trail users and to ensure the public remains a safe distance from blasting operations,” the release said. “Further blasting operations may occur over the next week if the contractor does not see the expected results from this first operation.”

The U.S. Forest Service is looking to finish the final barrier near the confluence of Hermosa Creek and its East Fork, which will effectively dedicated more than 23 miles to native cutthroat trout habitat.

It will take a few more years to complete the project, as invasive species still need to be removed from the creek, and cutthroat reintroduced. The U.S. Forest Service hopes to have the final barrier constructed by fall.

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