Plum Creek Habitat

As Plum Creek enters Chatfield Reservoir, there are tall bushes along the Creek shore and trees further away. Depending on the water level and season, sheltered pools provide for a variety of wildlife. South along the Creek less than 100 yards, larger trees close in on the water. Many patches of thick, bushy undergrowth grow among the trees further to the south and west. Open meadow areas lying west of Plum Creek, add ready access to nighttime feeding to the daytime shelter of the riparian area. Resident and migrating birds depend on the Plum Creek area, as do a multitude of other animals. Under the planned Reallocation, the habitat within the maximum floodplain along Plum Creek would be sacrificed to preserve water quality and the mature trees would likely die with periodic flooding. (Table 2-9. See Resource categories: Water Quality, Wetlands and Wildlife.)
Post-Reallocation Map of Plum Creek
Plum Creek area in Chatfield State Park, showing much of the forest and riparian habitat that would be inundated at high water levels if the Reallocation Project is pursued (DEIS, Appendix M page 3-19). Note that north is toward the right on this map. The current mouth of Plum creek  is off the north (right) side of the map. The parking lot near the picnic area is shown as submerged in the upper right corner of the map. Please click map to view a larger image.
Beaver Dam near Mouth of Plum Creek
This beaver dam is a short distance upstream from the mouth of Plum Creek. The beaver would likely leave the Reallocation floodplain due to the lack of nearby food and dam-building resources.
Elk Considering Leaving the Wooded Cover at Plum Creek
In recent winters, a small elk herd has been  sheltered from sight by the bushes and trees of the Plum Creek riparian area during the day.  As evening approaches, the elk move cautiously into the nearby fields.  It is unclear whether there will be adequate daytime hiding places for elk within Chatfield State Park if the Reallocation occurs.
White-tailed Deer Run for Cover
All year white-tailed and mule deer share the shelter of the Plum Creek riparian area during the day and move to more open areas to browse during the evening.
These birds, a Northern Flicker, an American Tree Sparrow, a Black-billed Magpie, and a Dark-eyed Junco, were photographed during the winter in the area near Plum Creek where habitat would be destroyed by the Chatfield Reallocation Project.
Northern Racoon and Procupine in trees
This Northern Raccoon and Porcupine are climbing in trees near the Plum Creek Picnic Area. Both trees would be cut down by the Chatfield Reallocation Project.