Disastrous decision for Midland Trail | AspenTimes.com

Disastrous decision for Midland Trail

Once again the public has not been informed of a major decision – to radically alter the Midland Trail, at the base of Shadow Mountain behind the Ice Garden. The 1,100 Friends of Shadow Mountain, mostly citizens of the city of Aspen and residents of Pitkin County, have made it abundantly clear to our governing bodies that we have a vital interest in decisions impacting Shadow Mountain.

The apparent decision to excavate and remove nearly 400 linear feet of the Midland Trail, by as much as 10 feet, to permit private access for one speculative 14,445-square-foot house was made without consulting the Friends of Shadow Mountain or informing any of the immediate residents.

The suggestion that this is no more than “trail maintenance” is absurd. Major excavation of thousands of cubic yards of earth and realignment of the Midland Trail will impact the safety, aesthetics and well-being of the neighboring residents and countless users of the trail.

The Midland Trail’s raised embankment has served for more than 100 years to protect trail users and adjacent homes from the known run-out of avalanche and rock fall, especially to that portion of the trail. This was clearly evident in the well-documented, massive 1965 Shadow Mountain avalanche that was materially contained by the Midland Trail embankment.

To eliminate this protective containment by lowering the Midland Trail would knowingly expose the safety of people on the trail, Ice Garden crowds and the adjacent residents in their homes.

To our knowledge, no 1041 review has been completed regarding the redesign and reconfiguration of this trail.

We request that all approvals or permits be withheld until this matter is fully reviewed under the 1041 mandates, including legal posted notification, public hearings and notice to those impacted in both the city and county.

Roger Haneman

The Friends of Shadow Mountain

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