Surrounded by machines |

Surrounded by machines

Dear Editor:

Last week, the Pitkin Board of County Commissioners voted to make a large parking area for snowmobilers at the end of Woody Creek Road in Lenado. They did so hastily and against the recommendations of both their own planning and zoning commission and the Woody Creek Caucus. I sat in on this meeting and was both surprised and dismayed by their decision. Thank you, Michael Owsley, for offering a fair and balanced perspective.

In recently building a small, off-grid home in Lenado, I had to jump through regulations, ad nauseam. The county made Peters and Delano jump through great regulations to build a much smaller parking area for the 10th Mountain Hut system, than the one just passed. The BOCC blew through this process without proper due diligence. You on the BOCC do not live in Lenado and have significantly affected the lives of those who do.

A note to the snowmobilers: We are not wanting to stop your recreation, but rather find the best option for both you and the residents of Lenado. Your fun affects our quality of life. With this change in parking, I now have Howard Vaugner’s 50 snowmobiles parked to the northeast of my property plus all the diesel trucks, trailers and off-loaded snow machines to my southeast and southwest. Pretty close to being surrounded.

On a winter weekend, there are 100-plus two-stroke snowmobiles, equaling 4,000 cars worth of pollution. There has been no air and water quality assessment done. In Yellowstone Park they have regulated snowmobile recreation requiring cleaner burning four-stroke engines.

On another note, it would be great if people on both sides of the issue could refrain from mud slinging. All opinions are welcome and important as we work together to create a win-win solution. We are all part of the community and must learn to live together; this includes the snowmobilers, hunters, skiers, hikers, bikers, residents – and let’s not forget the animals. Each one of us is a guest and a caretaker of this beautiful valley that we get to share for a time.

Branden Cohen


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