Pitkin County: Finalizing a land swap | AspenTimes.com

Pitkin County: Finalizing a land swap

Aspen Times Weekly Staff
Aspen, CO Colorado

PITKIN COUNTY ” In what is viewed by many as a housekeeping measure, Pitkin County is asking voters to seal a deal putting the 35-acre Ryan Parcel, near the ghost town of Ashcroft, into the hands of the U.S. Forest Service. The agreement would protect the parcel from development in perpetuity.

Because the property was purchased by Pitkin County in the late 1990s, using $3 million of open space funds and $200,000 contributed by the Aspen Valley Land Trust, any transfer of ownership must be approved by the voters under the county’s regulations.

Besides the Ryan Parcel, the deal calls for the federal government to turn over to Pitkin County 12 mining claims on Smuggler Mountain; 40 acres in the Crystal River Valley south of Carbondale; about 1,300 linear feet of trail easement along the East of Aspen Trail and an adjacent fishing easement; and about 266 acres of land above Redstone known as Sawmill Hill, some 200 acres of which will be owned outright by the county but about 66 acres of which will be covered by a conservation easement.

The question asks simply whether voters agree the deal should finally be completed, after years of negotiations and effort that included an act of Congress in 2006.

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