Open space program extends deadline to comment on management plan

Staff report
Cozy Point South, part of Sky Mountain Park, is irrigated for hay production in the summer. The Brush Creek Valley property, like most of the park, is closed to all use from Dec. 1 through May 15 to protect wildlife habitat.
Pitkin County Open Space and Trails |

Pitkin County Open Space and Trails department has extended the public comment period on its draft land use management policy on habitat preservation and human uses of its properties.

The draft policy is titled, “Protection of Natural Biodiversity and Compatible Human Use.”

The draft policy “is the department’s first effort to describe in general terms its ongoing effort to utilize the best available habitat data to determine where and when human activities are appropriate on open space lands,” says an introduction to the language.

The proposed policy says the department will undertake property-specific studies on the natural habitat. If the studies show that specialized habitat management is needed, it will craft a plan to restore a site to a healthy condition and protect sensitive areas from recreation or agricultural use.

“Human uses will be planned and managed to minimize intrusion in breeding/nesting areas and migration corridors. Human uses will be planned and managed to minimize intrusion into the time periods and/or places of special habitat concern,” the proposal states.

The use of public lands, particularly for recreation, has come under scrutiny of some Roaring Fork Valley residents recently. Citizens for Responsible Open Space, for example, is lobbying for more wildlife-friendly land management.

To review the draft policy and make a comment, go to


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