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Don’t obliterate hard work

It is a shame that there has been little historical reporting on the Shadow Mountain trail, especially in regard to the annexation issue facing City Council next week.

This trail, which is at the base of Shadow Mountain, can be just as valuable for the citizens of and visitors to Aspen as the current Rio Grande Trail is along the Roaring Fork River.

For more than 30 years that trail, with segments that include parts of the old Midland railroad right of way, has been on the “radar screen” of the Aspen Valley Land Trust (formerly the Pitkin County Parks Association), the Aspen/Snowmass Nordic Council, the County’s Open Space and Trails Board and, more recently, the city’s Open Space and Trails Board.

Expensive acquisitions have been made, parks and open spaces have been preserved, trail easements have been acquired, trades have occurred, developments along the trail have had to accommodate and keep special that trail.

Countless volunteers and trails crews have painstakingly, and with little funding, created a wonderful transition from the urban developments to the semi-natural hillside which is Shadow Mountain.

Even the Marolt Bridge was built and designed across Castle Creek so as to bring foot, bike and cross-country skier traffic into town along an aesthetic route that connected to the Shadow Mountain trail.

As the city ponders the annexation proposal near Fifth and Hopkins, it should do so by prohibiting any further buildings south of the trail. To compromise on this would be to obliterate the good works and passionate foresight from the past 30 years.

Craig C. Ward

Aspen


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