The Roaring Fork Conservancy has launched a study to determine visitor use and spending related to fishing and other recreation-related activities on the lower Fryingpan River and Ruedi Reservoir.
“Understanding the river’s economic importance to the local economy will aid in the overall view of the importance of keeping the river healthy,” the Basalt-based conservancy said in a statement.
Colorado State University and Colorado Mountain College provided money for the study. The town of Basalt, Eagle County, the Aspen Skiing Co. Environment Foundation and numerous private donors have contributed funding. Additionally, the Pitkin County Healthy Rivers and Stream Board made a recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners to fund the study. This new study will echo the work done more than a decade ago by the Roaring Fork Conservancy. Based on the previous study, the Fryingpan Valley’s recreation activities contributed an estimated $1.8 million annually in total economic output to Basalt’s economy. Current numbers are expected to be greater.
The conservancy has contracted with Colorado State University to update the previous study. In addition, the conservancy has employed Colorado Mountain College student Christina Briseno to survey anglers and recreationalists. She will be assisted by a recent University of Colorado graduate, Kristjan Danis, this summer.
“The results of this Fryingpan Economic Study will be a critical component to the Comprehensive Lower Fryingpan River Assessment where we will gain a better understanding of the users of the Fryingpan River and Ruedi Reservoir, their priorities and influences on local economy,” said Roaring Fork Conservancy Executive Director Rick Lofaro.
Results from the assessment will be published in 2015. For updates on the study, visit www.roaringfork.org/fryingpanstudy.