Pitkin County Open Space and Trails has created an interim management plan for Deer Creek Open Space, a 38-acre parcel in Snowmass Canyon that offers access to the Roaring Fork River from the Rio Grande Trail, and to federal lands via Arbaney Gulch (pictured above). The interim plan was approved by the Open Space and Trails Board on July 21, 2016.
The property, acquired in 2015, remains mostly closed to public access. No public access to Arbaney Gulch is contemplated until a full management plan for the open space is adopted. The process to draft a full plan is currently scheduled in 2018.
The interim plan allowed Pitkin County to enter into an intergovernmental agreement with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, allowing a CPW wildlife officer to reside in a house on the open space. Officer Kurtis Tesch helps maintain the property and monitors wildlife use of both the open space and Arbaney Gulch. In addition, Open Space and Trails is monitoring wildlife in the lower Gulch with a wildlife camera. A selection of photos from the 2016-17 winter is posted at upper right.
Public access to the river is available via the Rio Grande Trail. No parking is available and no commercial use of the open space is permitted. Commercially guided fishing is not permitted in the interim plan.
The interim plan is posted at right. A map of the property is posted below.
A wildlife camera positioned near Deer Creek in Arbaney Gulch produced a variety of photos during the winter of 2016-17. One or more lions were spotted on several occasions. At least three different black bears came by and we saw coyotes - alone or in packs of 2 or 3. There were plenty of turkey sightings, as well.
Deer Creek Open Space Interim Management Plan