Engineering Projects

dirt road repaired with bulldozer in background smoothing out road surfacePartnership Opens Popular Road Damaged by Avalanche & Flooding. 

By working collaboratively and leveraging emergency fund sources, this popular road is again open to the public for safe travel as they enjoy our public lands and great outdoors.  In addition, opening this road restored a significant economic generator for the town of Creede, Colorado. 

people standing around an archaeological dig of bison bonesHudson-Meng Bone-Bed is a Mystery

Fortunately, taking care of the facility is not. Engineers from the Nebraska National Forests & Grasslands completed many projects for facilities in need of repair. The complex includes the bone bed building, a water/septic system, a bathroom building & an administrative camping area.

A primitive forest road bridge after surface was improvedMaintaining Bridges-Portals to our National Forests

Engineers at Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland manage more than 50 roads bridges across the landscapes of Wyoming and Colorado. These bridges provide a safe and reliable crossing of the many rivers, streams and other features that would otherwise be unnavigable. 

A restored road surface on a Forest Road traveling through mixed conifers.Partnerships Restore a well-used Alpine Road

By leveraging limited resources, working closely with local and state partners, and maintaining open lines of communication, Alpine Plateau Restoration project will serve to support key forest management needs as well as diverse recreation use for coming years.

Hole in roof deck where the rotten boards have been removedPerseverance through Unplanned Obstacles 

Not only do engineers need to plan and help execute a project, it's also the engineer’s job to address the design and construction issues, as well as the human and emotional aspects when employees are affected.

Two workers stand in a road smiling in orange vests and hard hatsBuilding A Better Future Through Partnerships

To support our diverse and ever-growing public communities, the White River National Forest engineer team is using innovative approaches to continue to meet the mission.

Footers and channel in placeMedicine Lodge Aquatic Organism Passage Project

A multidisciplinary team consisting of engineers, hydrologists, fish biologists, and road maintenance crews worked together to improve water quality & habitat for sensitive Yellowstone cutthroat trout by improving aquatic species passage on Medicine Lodge Creek & repairing road conditions. 


Large group of people sit at the new ski lift location in a field at base of the mountainForest Service Continues Its Long History as Leaders in Ropeway Engineering

The Forest Service has been involved in ropeway engineering since the early days when recreational skiing on National Forest System lands took-off and safety standards were first being developed and that tradition continues today.

Large machinery working on a gravel forest road.Building A Better Future Through Partnerships

To support our diverse and ever-growing public communities, the White River National Forest engineer team is using innovative approaches to continue to meet the Forest Service mission through utilizing multiple partnerships and initiatives.

Four workers in hard hats stand in a creek that is significantly more open.Blasting to Enhance Fish Habitat

The Shoshone National Forest, in partnership with Wyoming Game and Fish, recently utilized the blasting program to improve a fish barrier on a tributary to the Wind River in Wyoming. 

A75 foot long, 10 foot tall arched waterfall/dam spills water and acts as a natural barrier.Teamwork Creates Positive Outcome for Colorado Native Cutthroat Trout

Multi-agency teams and programs worked together to construct a fish barrier so a meta-population of Colorado Native Cutthroat Trout could be established. 

Trucks along the edge of the dinosaur track siteUnique Management Collaboration Helps Maintain Grassland Roads & Improve Historic Site

National Grasslands offer spectacular and unique landscapes, as well as distinct management challenges. These challenges also provide opportunities for unique collaborative solutions.

Water storage tank with three managers posing around itForest Service Teams Up with Specialized Contractors for Safe Drinking Water

Key public water systems on the Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forests Pawnee National Grassland are now managed by a team of specialized contractors that act as Operators in Responsible Charge for the Forest Service, and make sure water at key recreation sites meet state and federal standards for public safety.

Log structure in the sun. Alamosa Guard Station after repairHistoric Alamosa Guard Station Restoration

The Alamosa Guard Station served as a Rio Grande National Forest district headquarters from 1908-1948 and is now part of the Conejos Peak Ranger District.  Through determination and creative thinking, Forest Service archeologists and engineers were able to develop a scope of work to repair the guard station, partnering with Historicorps.

A man stands in a deep gash in the earth caused by flooding.Cooperation & Teamwork Used in Response to Record Rainfall Year

The 2019 calendar year represented a record year for rainfall at Nebraska National Forests and Grasslands which led to more and heavier damage to the road and dam infrastructure. Collaboration and teamwork were key tools used to accomplish crucial repairs.

Consruction machinery and workers install pipes underground in a pre dug trenchConnecting with Communities through Infrastructure Improvements

A collaborative project with the town of Saratoga completes a successful infrastructure improvement project that will provide benefits to the agency as well as the local area.

A fish out of water being held by two hands.Culvert Replacement to Protect Sensitive Fish

Forest Service engineers team up to replace a critical culvert to help protect a Conservation Population of blue lineage Colorado River Cutthroat Trout (Region 2 Sensitive Species) that inhabit Atkinson Reservoir and East Fork Big Creek at Grand Mesa Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests.

A line of horses with a rider leading the pack string.Building Bridges and Partnerships

The Forest Service teams up with Montana Conservation Corps to help with needed maintenance and repair on three timber bridges along Bucking Mule Falls National Recreation Trail.

Contractor placing vaults and tanks with truckHost Site Modernization Project

Engineers and recreation staff worked together to construct a new host site at a popular campground at White River National Forest. The upgraded site is critical to the long-term plan to manage this site sustainably and consistently into the future.   

Three people in discussion insideMaking an International Impact with Design & Interpretation

The Center for Design and Interpretation is creating an impact internationally by supporting projects across the globe. A few of the most recent projects accentuate the Forest Service group’s uniqueness in providing services worldwide, and some great successes due to particpant's expertise.

Rock exploding while man in hard hat watches from a distance.Partnership Moves 2.5-million-pound Boulder

On May 24, 2019, a 2.5 million pound rock broke free from a sandstone cliff above State Highway 145. Learn how partnerships can move mountains, or in this case...boulders!

New bridge structure over a river.Warm Springs Bridge #1 Rehabilitation Project

The Shoshone National Forest recently rehabilitated a timber bridge that was constructed in 1949. The superstructure, deck and guardrails were removed and new timber components were installed. The concrete substructure was also repaired in such a way that it now looks like new.

Large gravel parking area at an improved trailheadRock Creek Trailhead Improvement & Stream Restoration

In the spring of 2018 the Pike & San Isabel National Forests, Comanche & Cimarron National Grasslands Engineering Department worked to implement the South Park Ranger District’s vision to improve the Rock Creek corridor along National Forest System Road 133 for visitors and endangered wildlife.

Post construction – Tributary CrossingWillow Creek Aquatic Organism Passage Project

The replacement/rehabilitation of fish passage structures on Willow Creek will increase opportunities for native sculpin and other non-native game species to pass through year round at all flows levels. 

A large piece of machinery digs into the road for repairsBowers Creek Road Culvert Replacement; Enhancing Access & Ecology

Bowers Creek Road culvert repairs at Rio Grande National Forest enhanced the road as well as improved the local ecology and watershed which helps enhance wildlife habitat.

New stream crossings consist of an 8 ft by 5ft high precast concrete box culvertEast Ash Creek Aquatic Organism Passage Project

Aquatic Organism Passage (AOP) structures provide more than just the safe passage of aquatic organisms. These structure also help to protect watersheds and infrastructure, improve transportation systems, benefit adjacent resources, and improve safety

Technician using ground penetrating radar on bridge deck New Kind of Bridge Inspection and Rating

The Medicine Bow and Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland worked with contractors to perform load ratings using the Load Resistant Factor Rating method. This new rating method will simplify posting, account for changing structural conditions, and provide some flexibility in permitting overweight trucks/vehicles. 

Tread Construction and linear borrow, Prospector SectionConstructing the Prospector Section of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail 

One of the last segments of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail to be constructed is the 7.3-mile Prospector segment which crosses difficult terrain for trail construction, specifically where it traverses the southern face of the Sawatch Range, Collegiate Peaks Wilderness.  

Sewage Lagoon with a fence around it.Camp Bob Marshall Sewage Lagoon

Camp Bob Marshall on the Black Hills National Forest was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the late 1930s. In order to protect water quality and allow the camp to stay in operation, a new permanent wastewater and sewage treatment system was constructed.

North exit of a campground showing new smooth road.Ranger Creek Recreation Area Improvements at Bighorn National Forest

Ranger Creek Recreation Area is heavily utilized group campground site. In July 2018, engineers contructed a formal trailhead parking lot at the east side of the complex, and seven new family campsites. Old sites were removed in order to mitigate adverse impacts of erosion and the new trailhead will reduce conflicts between campers and hikers. Successful implementation of this project underscores the critical value of having an on-forest road crew.

Old building being taken apart by workers in adverse conditionsShared Stewardship on the White River National Forest

The White River National Forest partnership with Colorado Correctional Industries initially started with the cleanup of remote abandoned mines on the Forest, but the program has since grown and now contributes significantly to achieving our agency goal of reducing our unsustainable facility footprint. 

The new bottomless arch was designed to withstand a 100-year flow event.Big Warm Springs Creek Aquatic Organism Passage Project on the Shoshone

Through a collaborative teamwork approach, an Aquatic Organism Passage construction project restored fish passage to cutthroat trout and mottled sculpin, reestablished riparian habitat, and improved watershed function on Big Warm Springs Creek on the Shoshone National Forest.

heavy maintenance produced nearly six inches of gravel for the roadRoad Engineering on San Juan National Forest – New Discoveries Through Old Plans

The San Juan National Forest engineering team began a new road maintenance program 2017. The purpose of this endeavor is to recover lost gravel, establish proper drainage, and reduce the frequency of blading. 

Managers reviewing the spillway at Lake IsabelLake Isabel Recreation Area Rehabilitation Project

The Lake Isabel Recreation Area is one of the most used and most popular recreation attractions on the Pike and San Isabel National Forests & Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands. In 2017, the PSICC received funding through the Capital Investment Program to rehabilitate this work center in support of the unique recreation opportunity. 

Ptarmigan Guard Station (7 buildings) – Demolition 2016Financially Sustainable Facilities

To better utilize the limited funds available for facilities maintenance, right-sizing has taken on new importance. Since 2010, the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests & Pawnee National Grassland has disposed of over 30 facilities. 

Workshop before and after pics equipment.Restoring Riparian Areas After Forest Fires

In August 2017, a three-day, hands on stream restoration techniques training was held learn post-fire stream restoration and watershed management techniques.


Crew finishing installation of geoweb material in the road.Conserving Open Space at Fort Pierre National Grassland

The Forest Service repaired a roadway crossing on Road 219 at Ft. Pierre National Grassland to prevent vehicle traffic from driving around mudbogs created by unique soil conditions. Benefits from this type of project include better and safe access to the public lands for the public, erosion control from eliminating movement of soils, and improved visual qualities.

personnel discussing final install of Rob Roy dock.Rob Roy and Hog Park Reservoir Boat Dock Installation

To accommodate the demand for improved boat dock facilities at both reservoirs Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland  staff worked with the Wyoming Game and Fish to purchase and install the new accessible boat docks at both locations. 

Large military truck hauling small trees and woody debris.Black Hills National Forest Exercise Golden Coyote

South Dakota Army National Guard and the Black Hills National Forest maintain an effective partnership that benefits the training of today’s military, provides for the care and maintenance of natural resources, and visitor experience.  

IIron Fen pond above Country Road 12 (Kebler Pass Road)Kebler Pass Restoration of Iron Fen

Engineers completed restoration of the Mount Emmons Iron Fen on Kebler Pass, which is located on the Gunnison National Forest. Mount Emmons Iron Fen is a unique form of fen that has been a special place of interest and research since the 1980s.  

Equipment operators build sedge benches.Bighorn National Forest Shutts Flats Wetland Restoration and Stream Improvements

The Bighorn Forest Engineers, in collaboration with internal and external partners, recently completed a project to restore the natural processes and conditions of the Shutts Flats watershed and riparian/wetland ecosystem.

Cindy Thrush (Project Engineer) supervisesBridge building project at Ruedi Reservoir

Engineers took on a team building/bridge building project at Ruedi Reservoir.  The reservoir is a very popular destination for fishing, boating, camping, wind surfing, sailing and is also home to the Aspen Yacht Club.  

Beginning of the wall construction along side of forest roadLandslide Repair West Fork Dolores Road - San Juan National Forest

The West Fork Road on the San Juan National Forest is a very popular and scenic road heavily used by recreationists, cattle allotment permittees and special use permittees. 

Worker shoveling the deep ruts in the roadLittle Popo Agie Watershed Improvement Project Shoshone National Forest

Shoshone National Forest completed a watershed improvement project near the town of Lander, WY on Washakie Ranger District.

Two workers with bridge formNorth Fork Flood Restoration - Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland (ARP)

North Fork bridge reconstruction. The (ARP) continue work, responding to road, bridge, and other infrastructure destroyed during the September 2013 Flood.

outbuildings completedRourke Ranch Restoration with HistoriCorps - Comanche National Grassland

Being an engineer with the forest service means you have the opportunity to work on a LOT of different projects. Restoring habitat, building bridges, reclaiming abandoned mines and even restoring historic structures.

bottomless arch-like a 1/2 culvert installedBeaver Creek Aquatic Organism Passage - Rio Grande National Forest

The Rio Grande National Forest is so named because it holds the headwaters of the Rio Grande, a river that travels 1,800 miles to the Gulf of Mexico. It is home to Rio Grande cutthroat trout, which is the only native trout species in this river and they are negatively impacted by sedimentation.

Metal materials staged at Lake Creek.Lake and Camp Creek - Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest and Thunder Basin National Grassland (MBRTB)

During summer 2016, the MBRTB designed and installed two Aquatic Organism Passage’s (AOP’s). These structures helped restore the watershed, protect resources and improve public safety.

Greenhouses with seedlingsBessey Nursery - Nebraska National Forests and National Grasslands

Located in the unique Sandhills region of Nebraska, the Nebraska National Forests and Grasslands hosts the oldest operating Nursery in the country -Bessey Nursery.

Akron Mill Site Reclamation - Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests

Akron Mill site is an abandoned mine located in the historic Tomichi Mining District in Whitepine, Colorado. The first deposit was discovered in 1879, and several others were located shortly thereafter. Mining was active and prosperous from 1885 to 1893. The total value of mining commodities produced from the Tomichi Mining District was about $6.6 million.

Cook Lake  - Black Hills National Forest

A beautiful place to enjoy the outdoors, Cook Lake Recreation Area is nestled in the Bearlodge Mountains of the Black Hills National Forest near Devils Tower National Monument in northeast Wyoming. Read more about the part engineers, geologists, and hydrologists played to help re-open a recreation area.

Buckskin Creek - Bighorn National Forest

The motorized trail crossing Buckskin Ed Creek and was causing significant damage to critical habitat and degrading water quality. To address this issue, the Bighorn National Forest along with partners built a bridge.