The Telluride Open Space Commission discussed a handful of ongoing projects during a brisk meeting Monday afternoon following a site walk in Bear Creek Preserve.

While efforts to close and revegetate unofficial social trails in the Lower Bear Creek Preserve area have been one of the commission’s main focuses over the past year-plus, the site walk Monday concerned potential bike trail alignments. The second phase of the bike trail would continue past the kiosk area to Firecracker Hill.

While there is no official signage, there has been minimal usage and damage to the trail recently, town program manager Lance McDonald explained. The commission previously discussed signage in Bear Creek Preserve, though nothing was decided upon. It’s considered an ongoing effort, but McDonald added finding an available graphic designer has been difficult.

Following the site walk debriefing, McDonald talked about the Valley Floor tailings removal project being conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Forest Service.

“The EPA says they will be done with all of their restoration work now by Aug. 20, which is good. They're in the process now of channelizing the river. They’re done hauling tailings. They've been done for, I think, a couple of weeks. They are going to hand seed the site before they leave on Aug. 20,” McDonald said. “They indicated to me verbally that they would come back in early October to hydroseed the site. Then they're also planting some willows and transplanting some willows with this activity that they're doing before Aug. 20.”

He added that waiting until October for hydroseeding was a good idea because “you don't want to germinate and then get zapped by frost.”

The town and U.S. Forest Service could partner on revegetation and erosion mitigation moving forward, after the EPA has completed its work.

“I do recall, when we were meeting with the EPA down on the Valley Floor, that they said that it might be beneficial for us to put a little pressure on the Forest Service to try and hold them to the same standard of revegetation and remediation that we've done on the rest of the Valley Floor,” council member Jessie Rae Arguelles said.

Commission members also talked about asking the entities for a letter outlining their commitment to such efforts as well.

“It was just basically to reiterate what we heard and what we understood from the site walk, and then they may include some other things, but I think it's good to get that in writing. If they don't respond, then we'll assume that’s the case. If they do, then they'll correct it and have further clarification, but at least we've got something on paper,” commission chair Angela Dye said.

Other Valley Floor projects — removal of barbed wire and weed mitigation — were also briefly discussed as part of Monday’s agenda.

“I think we've removed all the barbed wire from the Valley Floor after all these efforts,” McDonald shared in thanking the Southwest Conversation Corps crews that have been collecting the gnarled and rusty bundles of wires. “ … I'm sure we're going to find some more, so if you see any, please text us or take a picture, tell us where it is. It's one more box to check, but it's been a long time coming, and a lot of this was in the beaver pond.”

After the quick note about barbed wire, McDonald added that weed mitigation, particularly concerning yellow toadflax, is taking place east of Boomerang Road and in the Mill Creek and Iron Creek areas.

“We're going to keep going for the next three weeks … we're hitting the weeds hard right now,” he said.