Sharing of Richmond Ridge subject of more talks tonight |

Sharing of Richmond Ridge subject of more talks tonight

Jeremy Heiman

Pitkin County, the U.S. Forest Service and recreationalists will continue their efforts to hash out a management plan for the backside of Aspen Mountain tonight.

A citizens’ group working on a Richmond Ridge plan will meet tonight at 5:30 p.m. at the Senior Center next to Aspen Valley Hospital. On the agenda will be discussion of an intergovernmental agreement between Pitkin County and the U.S. Forest Service, regarding enforcement of regulations for commercial guides and outfitters using the area.

Another certain topic of discussion will be parking and regulations for private snowmobilers who use the area.

Members of the Aspen Snowmobile Club, led by John Ham, met at the Pitkin County Library on Feb. 1 with representatives of Pitkin County and the Forest Service to try to determine where snowmobilers can park their vehicles and trailers while they snowmobile on the back of the mountain. Conflicts with backside residents and other users of the area were also discussed.

Ham and Jack Welch of Golden, who is legislative and land use director of the Colorado Snowmobile Association, checked the parking lots at Little Annie and Midnight Mine roads earlier that day and observed that the need for parking probably wouldn’t exceed space for about 12 trailers on weekend days and about four or five on weekdays. Ham said he thought it would be best if access to both roads was available.

Homeowners in Little Annie Basin have complained of snowmobilers parking trailers on their land and riding dangerously fast past their homes. Though there is some confusion over whether the Little Annie Road is public or private, there have been threats to close it to the public.

It has been established that a parking lot near the bottom of the Little Annie Road, which is clogged with unused motor vehicles and snowmobiles, belongs to the Forest Service. There was general agreement that this lot would be ideal for snowmobilers. Cindy Houben, county planning director, said the county would offer assistance in clearing the lot so it could be used.

For further information on tonight’s meeting, call county planner Ellen Sassano at 920-5098 or Paula Cote of the Forest Service at 945-3314.

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