Letter: Trail damages ecosystem | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Trail damages ecosystem

The illegal building of the trail in the Airport Ranch Open Space was a selfish, environmentally ignorant move. Being that one of the culprits was a former board member of the Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association, the whole situation smells very foul. The animals that live there and the anglers who fish there appreciate its wildness, as it is part of the most primitive and pristine 8 miles of river between Aspen and Glenwood Springs. There has been some increased erosion with some past rerouting of elk movement and where angler gates are now. The illegal trail, if not repaired soon, will quickly add to erosion threefold, which damages the aquatic ecosystem. When trails are built, they cut through permaculture, reroute rainwater flows, damage native vegetation and spread nasty weeds, damaging the environment. Our community certainly needs all kinds of awesome trails, but we must be careful and move slowly because it costs more to restore a trail to original condition than it does to build one. The Roaring Fork Gorge corridor is the last true undeveloped refuge and migration area where the area’s large mammals can access a river comfortably. It happens that the trail built went right through the elk and deer’s winter bedroom and living room. I think $5,000 is a slap on the wrist, as it will cost $10,000 to $20,000 to restore, and it will never be the same. I am not surprised the culprits have not sincerely apologized to the public or offered to restore it, because that would take some real character.

Jerry Pazar

Snowmass Village

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