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A Coconino County Flood Control District (District) project to reduce on-national forest sediment production and transport above and below Mt. Elden Estates is underway.
The U.S. Forest Service Museum Fire Sediment Reduction Project broke ground in late April and is expected to be completed this fall.
Funded by the U.S. Forest Service, the $3.5 million project includes grade stabilization and watershed restoration work to reduce sediment production and transport. Without a reduction in these very high levels of sediment, any expansion of the floodwater conveyances within the City of Flagstaff will not be effective at reducing the level of floodwater impacting homes.
“This is another critical sediment-reduction project that is being built for the benefit of residents in Mt. Elden Estates, Lockett Ranches, and downstream communities,” said Chair of the Board of Supervisors and District Chair Patrice Horstman. “Like the NRCS Emergency Watershed Protection Project that’s currently underway on private lands, this project will mitigate erosion and sediment transport, except on national forest land. I’d like to thank the Forest Service for their commitment to mitigating post-wildfire flooding in Museum area neighborhoods.”
“Watershed restoration projects like this reduce the impacts of downstream flooding by helping to repair those on-forest areas that are the primary sources of sediment,” said Board Vice-Chair Jeronimo Vasquez, whose district includes the Sunnyside neighborhood. “We know that last year’s storms adversely impacted the already damaged watershed by causing head cuts to deepen and source more sediment. By utilizing rocks, logs, and other natural materials to help slow down water and drop out sediment, this project will accelerate the mountain’s natural healing process and help to keep the damaged areas of the watershed from degrading further.”
For more information, please visit www.coconino.az.gov/MuseumFloodArea.