Maintaining the West’s visual aesthetic | AspenTimes.com

Maintaining the West’s visual aesthetic

Dear Editor:In 1990, Referendum1B started the effort to preserve agriculturally important areas for the benefit of the people and wildlife who live here. Renewed support for 1B will also help provide trail maintenance and equipment funding for Spring Gulch Nordic Trail system and it will almost fully fund the Aspen nordic trails as well as the bike, equestrian, and other summer trails around the county.Carbondale, the Crystal River Valley, Basalt, El Jebel and the rest of the Roaring Fork Valley all benefit greatly from the Pitkin County Open Space efforts. Dollars spent on easement purchases are estimated to have appreciated 300 percent or more to date.While that is one measure of worth, another measure is what you don’t see. Many of the ranches we still observe as working ranches in this valley would look like I-70 housing projects were it not for this referendum combined with strong land-use ethics by ranching families and supporting land use codes. It is increasing clear by the visual landscape where the county lines have been drawn on the map and what economic path your commissioners have chosen to pursue.Pitkin County has been fortunate to have leadership that values the landscape they live in. By voting to renew 1B, we vote for the visual aesthetic of the West we inherited, with its wildlife intact.Franz FroelicherCarbondale