It’s not too late to move the bike path | AspenTimes.com

It’s not too late to move the bike path

Dear Editor:We are writing about the bike path that is cutting its way through the Rock Bottom Ranch and adjacent, for now, protected wildlife areas. The idea of a bike path connecting our valley is superb, but we must be sensible and sensitive about how we do it. The current section of path being worked on is booming and banging its way through critical habitat that includes at least 13 active heron nests, for now, comprising one of the few rookeries in our valley, as well as a main water source for elk, bobcat, bear, and more. The diminishing species of Lewis’s woodpecker nest along with the great horned owl in the cottonwoods along the path – for now. Rock Bottom Ranch has gone through tremendous effort and cost to protect an area of vanishing wetlands. There are not many of these protected areas left on the Roaring Fork River corridor.Once the noise from the construction is gone, some of the nesting wildlife could come back, except for the fact that the paved path will open the door to much activity and noise in an area that was once pristine, and protecting nesting species. Just as roads that cut into any wilderness area cause a huge impact on wildlife, so will this road, and the traffic it brings.We do have a choice! It is not too late for us to pressure RFTA into seeking cooperation with the Colorado Department of Transportation, and use an alternative route for the path. The alternative route along the frontage road parallel to Hwy. 82 would be open almost year round, as opposed to the shady wetlands area, and more residents could use the alternate route to get to the bus, etc., without having to drive. The current path is not on anyone’s route to work or shopping. This is our valley, our wildlife, and should be our decision. If you agree, please send your letter to the editor as well. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s too late, or can’t be done.Shep and Mary HarrisCarbondale

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