Clarifications on Filoha Meadows plan |

Clarifications on Filoha Meadows plan

Dear Editor:

I would like to offer some facts regarding a letter from William Hanks of the Crystal River Valley about Filoha Meadows Preserve. Hanks’ piece contains the following errors regarding the content of the Pitkin County Open Space and Trails Board’s Filoha Meadows Preserve Management Plan.

“Unrestricted summer foot traffic” is actually July 1 to Sept. 30. Pedestrian access is restricted to the old wagon road.

“Soft-surface trail of crusher fines” … Actually, no improvements to the existing earthen surface of the old road are proposed.

“This trail would be the precursor to the Crystal River Bike Trail coming from Avalanche Creek and Redstone from the south and threaten the preserve and invite violations of orchids and rare species”… Actually, pedestrian use of the existing wagon road is wholly unrelated to the Crystal bike trail. Further, the OSTB’s vegetation scientist, Lisa Tasker, and wildlife expert, Jonathan Lowsky, determined that pedestrian use of the old road between July 1 and Sept. 30 poses no threat at all to orchids or other rare species.

It is not clear how many of the “nearly 350 residents who have filed [a] petition” had access to or were able to read the draft management plan. Signers may not be aware that the Open Space Department is proposing a total closure of the preserve for 75 percent of the year, from Oct. 1 to June 30.

Questions and requests for accurate information regarding the management plan can be directed to Kathleen O’Brien, at

Dorothea Farris