Nearly all of old snow fence has been removed from Independence Pass
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN – The Independence Pass Foundation (IPF) took a major step last week toward its goal of removing the old, abandoned snow fencing on the high peaks surrounding the summit of the pass.
Crews removed 88 loads, or about 20 tons, of fence from Mountain Boy Gulch, according to IPF Executive Director Mark Fuller. The material was hauled off by Doug Sheffer of DBS Helicopters and loaded by Aspen Earthmoving. CitiWaste and Rocky Mountain Recycling will haul the material to Denver for recycling.
“Unfortunately we were not able to get everything,” Fuller said. “About 15 loads [approximately 4 tons] remain in Mountain Boy but we hope to get that out later this fall or next year.”
The snow fencing was installed on the pass decades ago as part of a project to catch more water. It was abandoned before completed. IPF removed some of the fencing last year, then returned this year.
A crew of 23 workers helped on the job, including IPF staff, U.S. Forest Service personnel and private contractors. The fencing material was flown to a staging site at mile maker 64 on the east side of the pass summit. Traffic on Highway 82 was stopped when the helicopter was working in the area.
Fuller said the project cost about $30,000. It was funded by donations from IPF donors and was made possible by a generous donation from DBS Helicopters.
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For anybody who lives here on the Western Slope, “Wireless” will likely conjure up some bad memories of winter trips westbound on Interstate 70, when Eisenhower Tunnel closures left you stranded, when you sit parked waiting for an accident to clear for hours worried you’d run out of gas, or — as is the case with Andy — when you took a bad detour or shortcut.