Don’t close the trails
Editor’s note: The following letter was sent to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management on Jan. 12.
I realize that the form of this communication may not fit within your guidelines for public input. Nevertheless, I feel I must speak out for the record.
I am not in favor of closing Arbaney-Kittle, Crown Mountain and Light Hill to public access for the winter months. Here is why:
1. There are hundreds of acres of wildlife grazing land beyond the one to five miles of trails that are commonly used.
2. Walking or hiking on trails is the least invasive mode of trail usage – why would you want to take that away? Many of us moved to the area to be outdoors often and easily. And it is the only form of outdoor recreation that does not require equipment and therefore money.
3. The proposal to shut down trails by Pitkin County in the winter only affects the midvalley. In effect, you would be closing every trail that is easily accessible to us midvalley folk. Many of us would now have
to travel by car substantive distances up or down valley to access trails. Many of us hike these trails several times a week. Please factor this in when you are determining benefits and consequences to trail closures.
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The city of Aspen’s office building is exempt from paying encroachment fees, yet private developers have to now pay $9 a square foot, per month, starting in 2020.