Alpine Environmental Consultants supports UWP with technical expertise

Welcome, Alpine Environmental Consultants!

For the past few months, UWP has been able to study, plan and implement projects with the new assistance of Alpine Environmental Consultants (AEC). The Crested Butte-based firm specializes in watershed planning, water quality data analysis and management, and project implementation.

Principal scientist and AEC owner Ashley Bembenek brings with her valuable experience and expertise. Her past consulting work includes acting as lead technical consultant on the Coal Creek project in Crested Butte, where she collected, compiled, and analyzed water quality data to create recommendations for water quality standards. She was also the author for the Upper Slate River Watershed Plan in Gunnison County, and is currently leading a collaborative mine reclamation project at the Gunsight Processing Area near Crested Butte.

Ashely is supported in her work with UWP by watershed scientist and AEC employee Julia Nave, who brings significant knowledge and professional relationships in the San Juan Mountains with her. Julia was the community program coordinator and instructor for the Watershed Education Program in the Telluride School District for two years, and is the former office manager and program assistant for the Telluride Institute.

The AEC team participated in the San Juan Mining & Reclamation Conference in May, and contributed to UWP’s poster presentation. They began on data analysis and recommendation development about the Ouray Hydrodam Sediment Release study, and plan to present a report soon.

The team’s primary role with UWP is to provide technical expertise to support reclamation activities at selected historic mine sites in the Upper Uncompahgre River. Three reclamation projects are proposed with unique public-private partnerships between local stakeholders including Ouray Silver Mines Inc., the U.S. Forest Service, Division of Reclamation Mining and Safety, and others.