Trustees reject effort to coerce trail access | AspenTimes.com
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Trustees reject effort to coerce trail access

Dear Editor:

A systematic 10-year effort to acquire Crystal River historic rail parcels and access by Pitkin County Open Space and Trails was slowed just a little recently by the Carbondale trustees’ attention to propriety. The request by Open Space and Trails and the Carbondale biking committee was an attempt to coerce trail access up the Crystal by asking the trustees to reverse their votes of support for the Wexner land exchange in order to force access from the Wexners. Even a Pitkin County commissioner registered disapproval of the back-room tactic by open letter.

A Colorado Parks and Wildlife manager, a wildlife biologist and the Crystal River Caucus presented testimony opposing the Open Space and Trails effort to intrude upon critical wildlife habitat along the rail grade up the east side of the Crystal to Filoha Meadows. The outstanding recreation benefits to the Carbondale community afforded by the generous Wexner land exchange were reviewed, and a majority of the trustees rejected the attempt to undermine their support for the exchange.

It is apparent that the Pitkin County Open Space and Trails effort to acquire land parcels and access along the historic grade are an attempt to dictate the trail alignment prior to wildlife habitat reviews and vetting. Pitkin County Open Space and Trails might have to live with just open space without the impact and intrusion of trail development. Crystal Valley residents believe that the trail might be appropriately aligned without the loss of watchable wildlife or the view-plane of the scenic byway through shared decision-making.

The Carbondale trustees and Mayor Stacey Bernot should be extended thanks for their time, patience and handling of the two-hour ordeal.

Bill Hanks

Avalanche Creek


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