Telluride Daily Planet
October 19, 2016

It is believed that the San Miguel River was channelized (straightened) to make it easier to transport out tailings from mining operations in the early 1900s. Environmental advocates have long regarded that decision as a disastrous turning point for the once thriving riparian and wetland habitat.

Thanks to the Valley Floor River Restoration Project, the San Miguel River on the west side of Telluride finally was reunited on Sunday with its natural meanderingways.

The plan for the “new” river route was based on aerial photography taken before the channelization had taken place. This helped project officials in finding the general area where the river had once been. They then were able to accurately locate the original alignment by studying the prominence of gravel layers in the area.

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