Pitkin County Commissioners will review Crystal Trail plan Nov. 7

Staff report

The proposed Carbondale to Crested Butte plan for a trail in the Crystal Valley will go to the Pitkin County commissioners Nov. 7 for final review.

The meeting will be held at 1 p.m. at the Third Street Center in Carbondale. The county Open Space and Trails board will discuss the plan and take public input before making a recommendation to the county commissioners. The commissioners will then start their deliberations — reviewing the open space board’s recommendation, discussing further revisions and deciding if it is ready for initial approval. No estimate was provided for when the commissioners will begin deliberations.

“If commissioners give initial approval to the plan, a second reading and public hearing will take place Dec. 5,” said a notice from the county. “If the trail plan is adopted, it is not the end of the process, but rather the start of many steps yet to come.”

Each phase in the proposed plan would require more review and approvals.

The first phase of the plan envisions an unpaved trail from Redstone to the summit of McClure Pass. There will be additional public process and a U.S. Forest Service review under the National Environmental Policy Act to see if the project should advance to development.

Also in the first phase are initiatives aimed at biodiversity. The 2019 Open Space and Trails budget includes exploring Crystal River enhancements, wildlife monitoring in the Crystal Valley and efforts to improve the resiliency of the Crystal Valley’s bighorn sheep herd, which has experienced declining numbers over the years.

Other phases for the trail between Redstone and the KOA Campground will require funding and design approvals from the county commissioners and open space board. They will include public comment opportunities.

The proposal trail plan will be posted at prior to the Nov. 7 meeting.


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