Letter: Open Space program a huge benefit to residents | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Open Space program a huge benefit to residents

The Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association’s board of directors, our members, and our broader constituent of trail users deeply appreciate Pitkin County’s ongoing investments in open space acquisitions, paved bike paths, and most recently, soft-surface trail systems. Reauthorizing the current funding for the Open Space and Trails program, and allowing for careful allocation of funds toward increased maintenance of these valued properties and trails in future years should be seen as a necessary and critical step in the program’s evolution.

In recent years, a number of Open Space and Trails projects have significantly improved the quality of our soft-surface trail systems to the benefit of a wide range of trail user types and skill levels. These significant projects include the majority of the Sky Mountain Park trail system (Airline, Cozyline, Skyline Ridge Reroutes, Viewline, Deadline, and now the Seven Star trail), the Smuggler Mountain/Hunter Creek collaborative plan projects in cooperation with the White River National Forest (Iowa Shaft cutoff reroute, Lower Lollipop extension, Hummingbird Trail, as well as cultural and botanical studies toward future trail system improvements), and the Glassier Open Space acquisition, trails and trailhead improvements. Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association looks forward to contributing to planning and implementation of future Open Space and Trails projects, including the Prince Creek area acquisition and forthcoming trail extension project.

While Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association’s focus may often seem to be only on the actual trails, we appreciate that wise management of these Open Spaces will preserve and even improve the characteristics that make these landscapes so valuable to our community at large. For the many and varied benefits provided by Pitkin County’s Open Space and Trails program, please vote “yes” on 1A.

Mike Pritchard

Executive director, Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association

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