Maple: Go with the snow |

Maple: Go with the snow

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

I understand on Wednesday the Pitkin County Board of County Commissioners will once again have discussions regarding predetermined closing and opening dates for Castle and Maroon Creek road gates.

As a Pitkin County resident and taxpayer, the No. 1 service I expect from my county is access to well maintained roadways. Correspondingly, I am greatly disappointed to see the county is considering establishing predetermined closure/opening dates of Nov. 15 and May 15 for Castle Creek Road and Maroon Creek Road, Castle Creek, Maroon Creek and State Highway 82 up Independence Pass are the No. 1 access points to our public lands and recreation opportunities.

In my view, Castle Creek and Maroon Creek roads should be open each spring as soon as conditions reasonably permit. In many years, and presumably with increasing frequency due to climate change, the upper reaches of these roadways are fully melted out or nearly melted out by late April or early May.

Keeping the gates closed until May 15 precludes and deters access to Pitkin County’s best and most accessible backcountry travel areas. A melted out but closed road cannot be used with skins, or for those that have them, snowmobiles.

Please do not establish a May 15 opening date for Castle Creek and Maroon Creek gates, but rather direct staff to open these Pitkin County roadways for the benefit of residents and taxpayers as soon as conditions/snowmelt reasonably allow each spring.

Mike Maple