Saving open space and trails | AspenTimes.com

Saving open space and trails

Dear Editor:The Pitkin County Open Space and Trails program has protected an incredible amount of ranch land, wildlife habitat and scenic open space since we Pitkin County voters had the good sense to establish it by referendum in 1990.We need to reauthorize the program now in order to continue to generate funds that will protect more open space and trails and help maintain what we already have. Reauthorization will also fold the operation of the winter Nordic trails into the summer trails maintenance, thus giving some long-term stability to the 65 miles of groomed Nordic skiing that has become so much a part of our community in the last 20-some years.Voting for Referendum 1B will, for the first time, authorize the Open Space and Trails program to purchase water rights to preserve Western Slope water needs and acquire mineral rights to protect lands from mining or oil and gas development. Additionally, reauthorization needs no increase in the mill levy.Our valley has remained a desirable (to say the least!) place to live because we have taken care of it. Voting yes on 1B is a big step in keeping it that way.Bob WadeUte MountaineerAspen