Hydroplant bad for wildlife | AspenTimes.com

Hydroplant bad for wildlife

Dear Editor:

My wife and I have owned property in Aspen for more than 26 years. Our present house, where we have been for some 20 years, is located at 750 Castle Creek Drive, above Castle Creek with our lot running into the creek, across from the Meadows and the houses on Sneaky Lane.

From our property on our side of the creek all the way to the Roaring Fork there is an undisturbed wildlife area, as few of the other lots extend or have access to this area. The area is pristine, full of wildlife, including deer, fox, beaver, squirrel, raccoon and occasionally bear. Our part of the creek itself has been assessed as a perfect riparian location and home for trout, and our family and others often take advantage of the excellent fishing there. A large part of the value of the property is the access down our 128 steps to the creek.

We are disturbed that the city is considering the erection of a hydroelectric plant that would potentially damage all of this.

We join our neighbors across the creek, Kit Goldsbury and others, in asking that the City Council delay a decision on this proposal and that a thorough and impartial environmental impact study be done. The removal of the water 2.5 miles above the Power Plant Road crossing, leaving those 2.5 miles with scant water, and then the returning of not only the water removed from Castle Creek but also a greater amount of water removed from Maroon Creek, after processing all this water immediately before the re-entry through turbines, thereby changing the temperature of the water, certainly demands the most careful study. This even more so as the rationale seems to be to save a quite small amount of money compared to the seemingly extravagant total cost of the project and to, hopefully, achieve only some small reduction in the perceived total use of energy for the city.

Certainly the council knows well that the attraction of Aspen lies in the natural setting of the mountains and the various streams, creeks and rivers here. To risk injuring two of the major streams of the city and their adjacent wildlife areas without any more study of the benefits to be gained and the damage that may be done seems the height of folly.

Ann and Edward Hudson