Cirque Meadows by Adam Johnson




MAY 12, 2011, 1:30-3:30 PM




The meeting was called to order at 1:35 PM by Chair Roger Svendsen


Members in Attendance:  Susan Bradley, Terry Ferebee, Lon Hughes, Eunice Michalka, Ben Myers, Ross Reid, Lucille Schmitt, Michael Sledge and Roger Svendsen


Members Excused Absences. All other members had excused absences.


Larimer County Representation: LARCO Senior Planner Rob Helmick


Guests Present: Pat Bradley, Terri Donnelly, Tom Viola, Dr. Janice Weixelman, Pete Blattenbauer


Adoption of Agenda: The agenda was approved as written.


Approval of Minutes: March 11, 2011 meeting notes were approved as written.


Communications from Committee Members :


Eunice Michalka advised that a group of Red Feather Lakes’ residents will be re-starting the new comers program in RFLs.  Six people in teams of two that will rotate monthly will welcome new residents to the community.


Communications from County Representatives :


Rob Helmick advised that the County Planning is getting close on finalizing the Saw Mill Junction site plan.  Additionally, he discussed the below topics:



“April 12, 2011


Soaring Eagle Ecology Center at Red Feather Lakes

PO Box 410

Red Feather Lakes CO  80545


Re:       Support for New Ecology Center


The Board of County Commissioners would like to express its support for the newly formed Soaring Eagle Ecology Center. Soaring Eagle Ecology Center (SEEC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that is located on over ten acres of private land adjacent to the Red Feather Lakes elementary School and with direct access to Roosevelt National Forest and wetlands.  The Board of County Commissioners has previously expressed it support for the Red Feather Lakes community through its support of maintaining the elementary school in the community and see the SEEC as a further step in community building  


The vision of SEEC is to inspire and facilitate children of all ages to learn about, enjoy and encourage responsible stewardship of the environment. Its mission is to offer hands-on, outdoor education to promote understanding and appreciation of the natural world.  The Soaring Eagle Ecology Center (SEEC) is open to all Larimer County students and is committed to providing outdoor educational classes that integrate reading, writing, math, and science with an understanding of our natural environment. Initial classes are scheduled to be offered in the summer of 2011 in cooperation with the local school. These initial classes will cover topics of interest for children from elementary through high school, and include adult and family programs as well.


Environmental education programs, along with responsible stewardship of the environment, are worthy and timely concepts that should be promoted in Larimer County.  The Roosevelt National Forest alone has 650,000 acres mostly located in Larimer County. SEEC was established with the encouragement and support of the local community and the local elementary school. The Larimer County Commissioners are pleased to add our support as well.





Tom Donnelly, Chair

Board of County Commissioners Larimer County”




“2010 Collection Yard review and 2011 planned schedule.

 In 2010 the Collection Yard was manned and operated on Saturdays in the months of April, May and June.  The first six Saturdays there were no customer at the site, winter hung on a long time last year.  The next seven Saturdays there were about 45 cords of wood brought to the site and on the busiest Saturday there were 26 truck or trailer loads of wood taken to the site.  Slash was collected outside of the Larimer County operation by a private contractor.

 In 2011 the Collection Site will open on Saturday, May 7 and will be open there after on Saturdays till and including July 2.  We will reopen on Saturday, Sept. 17 and will be open there after on Saturdays till and including Oct. 8.  Hours of operation will be 9:00 am till 4:00 pm.  There are no plans to collect slash at the site this year.  Slash was again collected by a private contractor and Larimer County has no control on his final decision.

Dave Lentz

Larimer County Forester”








Comments from the Audience :


1.    Dr. Wasserman advised that the medical clinic is presently in a module by the saw mill.  The clinic has seen a lot of activity in the past two weeks.  Information pertaining to the clinic pertaining to hours, etc. will be posted on the RFLPOA web site. 


2.    Tom Viola advised that the Soaring Eagle Ecology Center is now a 501c(3).  SEEC summer courses are:


June 11: A skeptic’s view of global warming (5pm – 6pm)

June 17: The curious climate of Larimer County (4pm – 5pm)

June 20-23 and 27-30: Watershed adventures (9am – 11:30am)

June 25: Anatomy of a prescribed burn (9am – noon)

July 9: Wild land Firefighters (9am – noon)

July 9: Exploring weather through satellites (3pm – 4 pm)

July 11: Fun with compasses (9pm – 11 pm)

July 11: GPS geocaching (1pm – 3 pm)

July 23: Exploring the wonders of light: Sun, Stars & Beyond/ Day events: 1pm – 4pm; evening events: 8:30pm to 10:30pm)


SEEC web site:


Action Item: None


Updates: None


Discussion Items:


1.    Continued discussion on domestic water and waste water issues.  Roger Svendsen discussed the below memorandum and attached charts.  The charts are not included herewith because of document transfer issues.  The samples reported in the charts are ones that were voluntarily submitted to the LC Health Department.  The PAC discussed this item.




















1525 Blue Spruce Drive
Fort Collins, Colorado 80524-2004
General Health (970) 498-6700
Environmental Health (970) 498-6775
Fax (970) 498-6772





Larimer County Department of Health and Environment has reviewed records of the past 7 years of water samples that have been submitted by the public. The sample results may help gain some insight of the quality of groundwater in the Red Feather Lakes area.

Coliform Bacteria are an indicator organism in water to test the sanitary quality of water and commonly referred to as the potability test of water. The presence of coliform bacteria indicates the water is not safe to drink. When the sample has Total Coliform present then the laboratory will also test for the presence of E-coli bacteria which can indicate recent fecal contamination.

Page 2 has a chart of well water sample results compiled from samples brought in to the Health Department from private wells in the Red Feather Lakes area from 2004 to 2010. Each column has the number of samples taken and the results. The results are given as percent of the total number of samples which tested having the absence of Total Coliform, presence of Total Coliform, and the percent of sample found to have E-coli present for the year. To summarize the highest percent of safe samples submitted (81%) was in 2005. The highest percent having not safe samples (48%) was in 2004. The year having the highest percent of sample having E-coli present (12%) was 2008. On average Total Coliform are present in about 33% of the samples submitted. The line graph shows of the percent of samples found to have Total Coliform present and E-coli present for each of the past 7 years.

Nitrate is also a common test on drinking water used to determine if the water is safe to drink. Water that has nitrate levels of 10 mg/L or greater is not safe to drink. Sources of nitrate in water include fertilizers, sewage, and decomposition of organic matter.

Page 3 has a chart of nitrate sample results from establishments classified as public water systems in the Red Feather Lakes area. Most of these sample results have low levels of nitrates that do not show signs of contamination. Two of the systems have higher levels of nitrates.

Page 4 has a map of sample site locations of E-coli Present samples.

The E-coli tests results appear to keep mostly the same each year being present in about 5% of the samples. The nitrate test results show some fluctuation which may have to do with the amount of precipitation during the year or it has been suggested that near by structure fires may have some influence increasing the nitrate levels.

The Red Feather Lakes area has over 600 wells and Larimer County receives samples from about 20 each year. The sample size is 3%. The small number may not be enough to provide a complete description of ground water quality in the area.

Both Total Coliform and nitrate levels should be tested at least each year in private wells. Consuming water that has results of Total Coliform present or a high level of nitrate could cause an acute illness.

(Jim Musslewhite April 2011)”


Lon Hughes stated that some of the private wells sit and become stagnant and this is where the bacteria come from.  The well needs to be shocked with chlorine and the likely hood of the well testing satisfactory is very good. 


Michael Sledge advised that Ed Schmin’s question to the RFLPAC Water/Waste Water Subcommittee was:  does RFL have a significant water problem in the first place for the subcommittee to further explore?  Michael cautioned that any inquiry into property owners’ water wells may create an atmosphere of suspicion. 


Eunice Michalka recommended that the PAC members go to the different RFL communities to seek volunteers to test their private wells.  She stated that if her water well was contaminated, she has the right to keep and to use her contaminated well. 


Rod Helmick stated that there may be resources at CSU that can be used to design a statistically valid study rather than have a community based system.  What parameters need to be tested, is it just bacteria, or is it bacteria and E-coli, is it nitrate, is it heavy medals, is it Alfa?  Most water wells in granite in Colorado have some potential to generate some level of Alfa which takes a separate treatment protocol. 


Roger Svendsen stated that the cost of conducting these tests is of concern to him as these tests are not inexpensive.  He asked Rob Helmick to check with Ed on possible cost figures. Rob stated that any costs incurred would have to come from the County since the PAC cannot incur any costs or debt.  The County would have to put a packet together for a grant specifically for RFL and submit that to the Commissioners’ Office. 


 RFLPAC meeting adjourned at 2:45 PM; Next regular meeting: June 9, 2011


Submitted by Terry Ferebee



Background Image: Cirque Meadows by Adam Johnson. All rights reserved.