Bureau needs input from Crystal River
November 24, 2011
Just a few comments regarding the misleading Andrew Travers article promoting Open Space for Trails (Aspen Daily News, Nov. 14, 2011).
The statement by Dale Will that “he was solving an age old problem,” doesn’t pass the sniff test. The rail grade removed almost 80 years ago has never been considered the “Crystal Trail”.
The abandoned platform, at least the public portion that still remains, has been under the able management of the U.S. Forest Service and has always been accessible to those who have wished to use it.
The beautiful Crystal River Valley was designated a Scenic By-Way because the view-plane from the highway is so outstanding and currently does not include looking over at hikers and bikers on the east side. The six-mile, mid-valley elevations on the east side of the river between Nettle Creek and Avalanche Creek are home to Bighorn and Elk production activity areas (lambing and calving) and a rich diversity of transitional plant species and wildlife.
The majority of the residents of the valley have gone on record through the Masterplan opinion survey and petitions to the County as opposing the urbanization of this narrow valley floor in favor of an appropriate bike and pedestrian trail with plenty of accomodating highway right-of-way space available, especially throughout the mid-valley six miles.
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Most of us applaud Leslie Wexner for doing what Crystal Valley constituents do not have the resources to do in resisting the Open Space for Trails/Carbondale Biking coalition for apparently wishing to creating a Moab-like area. The Bureau of Reclamation would be considerate to involve the Crystal River residents in their decision making.