Mitigation is hard, and more is needed
While the mitigation measures worked as designed, many parts of Boulder County did not have adequate mitigation measures, and so the destruction in those areas was severe. Of the fourteen drainages in the City of Boulder, only a few had adequate measures in place, and consequently streams flowed through houses and businesses, and sewage welled up into many homes from overtaxed sewage pipes. In Lyons, the older part of town lies along the St. Vrain Creek and thus bore the brunt of the damages. In mountain towns such as Jamestown and Salina, the narrow canyons make it difficult to propose effective mitigation methods that would not profoundly alter the historical character of the communities. A number of issues make mitigation difficult. • River corridors are patchwork of public and private lands. Any mitigation plan requires agreement from a large number of individual property owners. Agreement is especially difficult in a community where disasters have not occurred in a while and the risk seems low. • When mitigation measures have multiple uses, such as in the Open Space program which is designed to balance recreation with flood control with biodiversity conservation, social values can conflict. Competing groups often emphasize one of these purposes over others, such as closing trails to rehabilitate damaged land vs. maintaining recreation opportunities.