FIRST, THE HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE Pitkin County Open Space and Trails is developing options for a trail in the Crystal River Valley. Upcoming public presentations on this effort begin Aug. 24th with a look at the history of travel in the Crystal Valley. Dale Will, acquisition and special projects director for Open Space and Trails, along with Bill Kight of the Glenwood Springs Historical Society and Southern Ute Tribe member Kenny Frost, will lead this program, starting at 7 p.m. at the Carbondale Firehouse.
DELVING INTO THE DATA Two presentations are scheduled in early September. OST's consultant team will present the data that has been collected in connection with each potential trail segment. Open houses will follow the formal presentations. These events are planned on Sept. 6th at the Redstone Inn and Sept. 7th at the Carbondale Firehouse. Both will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
A BIT OF BACKGROUND This planning effort is part of a broader plan for a Carbondale to Crested Butte Trail. Work in Pitkin County began early this year with public open houses and an online survey to collect input. Below, find the survey responses, as well as maps and other materials presented at the open houses. A timeline for this process is also posted below.
OUR CONSULTANTS Pitkin County has signed a contract with ERO Resources for environmental services and with Loris and Associates Consulting Engineers for engineering feasibility work. The consultants, as well as Open Space and Trails staff, have been out in the field gathering data with the goal of providing trail alignment options and seeking public comment this fall.
The environmental consultant was chosen by a review team that included members from Open Space and Trails, the White River National Forest, the Gunnison-Mesa-Uncompahgre National Forest, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Town of Crested Butte, Gunnison County and two representatives from the Crystal Caucus Tails Committee. The environmental consultant was selected by a review committee that included Open Space and Pitkin County Engineering Department representatives, plus one member of the Crystal Caucus Trails Committee.
COLORADO'S 16 Last December, Great Outdoors Colorado awarded a $100,000 grant to the planning phase for this trail. In addition, Pitkin County Open Space and Trails has budgeted $200,000 in 2017 for the planning, which will include the engineering and natural resource studies. This endeavor is expected to take roughly two years - development of the trail plan in 2017 and the resulting NEPA process, a required federal environmental review when federal lands are involved, in 2018. This trail is one of 16 chosen for a statewide trails initiative that is now dubbed Colorado's 16.
By way of background, a 2004 Crested Butte to Carbondale Trail Feasibility Study is posted below. It was commissioned by the Colorado Scenic and Historic Byway Commission.
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