Casper Group Looks to Revitalize North Platte River

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A Casper group made up of multiple federal and city agencies is working to help revitalize parts of the North Platte River. Aquatic Habitat Biologist Colin Tierney says, "What we're trying to do is by restoring this is trying to give this ecosystem an ecological uplift."

Many people consider the North Platte River the cornerstone of Casper, helping bring people of all ages to the Oil City for a chance to hook into a trophy trout, but the wear and tear is starting to take a toll on the river.

Bureau of Land Management Outdoor Recreation Planner Eve Skillman says, "We are focusing right now on the upland stuff, the riparian, and what that's going to do is it's going to slow the erosion going back into the river.

The last 7 years the Platte River Revival group has been working to help restore parts of the North Platte. "We want to restore it to a healthy functioning state so that we don't have to keep coming in and doing vegetation management and that people can come out and enjoy the area for what it is," Skillman said, while Tierney agrees. "It will improve water quality and some of the fish habitat, the fish holding capacities and things like that, as well as soil retention."

Representatives from both federal and city agencies are scouring the land of Bryan Stock Trail; it’ll help establish a plan for what all needs to be done. "We'll look for areas of disturbance, areas with a lot of noxious weeds, and then we're going to go back and see what we want to do later on and help to restore it back to its natural habitat," Skillman said.

One of their main goals is to rid the bank from all of the invasive vegetation that has started to grow. "There are several different kinds of noxious weeds. Our biggest one here is Cheat Grass and the Russian Olive," Skillman said and Tierney agrees. "There are lots of invasive species and in areas that have been disturbed like what you see on a lot of these riparian corridors. They're very prominent."