Pitkin County to offer info on suggested BLM closures | AspenTimes.com

Pitkin County to offer info on suggested BLM closures

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen CO Colorado

BASALT – Pitkin County will host an informational meeting Feb. 15 at Basalt Town Hall to discuss its recommendations regarding wintertime closures on certain midvalley lands controlled by the Bureau of Land Management.

Officials with Colorado Parks and Wildlife will present information on wildlife and habitat on BLM lands in the midvalley – in particular on the Crown, Light Hill and Arbaney Mesa. Both the county and wildlife officials have recommended winter closures on those parcels, along with Williams Hill, in their comments to the BLM’s proposed Resource Management Plan.

“We heard from midvalley citizens that there is concern over our comments resulting in the loss of some new trail development potential and some trail access during winter months on the Crown, Light Hill and Williams Hill parcels,” said Cindy Houben, director of Pitkin County Community Development, in a press release. “We’d like the public to better understand why we made these recommendations.”

At the Basalt meeting, officials will present background data on wildlife and the animals’ use of the areas and provide detail regarding the county’s recommendation to the BLM for the development of management plans for each of the parcels based on “carrying capacity.”

County commissioners, particularly Commissioner George Newman, urged staffers to arrange the meeting, Houben said Monday.

“They said, you know, we really ought to explain to people why we made the recommendations we made,” she said.

Initially, the county’s comments called for complete winter closure of Light Hill, which extends between Old Snowmass and Emma, but the recommendation was modified to allow continued access to the top of the ridge from the Gateway subdivision and on East Sopris Creek Road, matching the Colorado Parks and Wildlife recommendation.

The closure would be from Dec. 1 through April 30 for all of the parcels where a winter closure was suggested.

The meeting will take place from 6 to 8 p.m.

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