The ballot’s no-brainer |

The ballot’s no-brainer

Dear Editor:

I am writing in support of Pitkin County “Open Space” Referendum 1C. If there is such a thing as a “no-brainer” on the ballot this fall, Referendum 1C is it!

The Referendum would allow the county to complete the so-called “Ryan” land exchange. The exchange has been pursued by our county, the Aspen Valley Land Trust and numerous others for many, many years, and will result in the permanent protection of the gorgeous Ryan parcel near Ashcroft and the Pine Creek Cookhouse (it’s the parcel on your right/upslope if you walk or ski from Ashcroft to the Cookhouse). In addition to conveying the Ryan parcel to the Forest Service, the exchange will protect another 312 acres of open space protection on Smuggler Mountain, the Crystal River and in Redstone. It will also guarantee a permanent trail easement for the East of Aspen Trail from Wildwood to Difficult campground.

Referendum 1C is UNANIMOUSLY endorsed by the Pitkin County Open Space and Trails Board, Financial Advisory Board and the entire Board of County Commissioners, as well as the Aspen Valley Land Trust, Wilderness Workshop, Wilderness Land Trust and numerous other nonprofit conservation organizations. I note that a few citizens have questioned why the one parcel going into private ownership is being sold for “only” $2 million. The answer is simple. That parcel has a cloud on title that the Forest Service would not clear, and has also had its allowable building square footage reduced by the County to protect its open space feel.

Please vote “yes” on Referendum 1C.

Andy Wiessner


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