Coming in 2017 - Pitkin County Open Space and Trails will continue the management and outreach efforts that were put in place in 2016 to educate North Star users on what makes the preserve a special place. Additional interpretive signage is on tap in 2017, as is the installation of a heron viewing stand with a scope, allowing the public a view of the nesting herons from a respectful distance.
Last year saw the hiring of a Forest Service officer to help direct use of the Wildwood put-in and control traffic and parking there. In addition, Open Space and Trails added an additional seasonal ranger to its crew to help boost OST's presence at North Star. Naturalists with the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies were on hand at North Star throughout the summer to help educate visitors about North Star's importance as a nature preserve. Finally, new programs, led by ACES, were offered at North Star in the summer and fall. These efforts will continue in 2017.
A new outreach campaign for North Star, which will also continue in 2017, includes a dedicated website - northstaraspen.com - along with a video, informational brochures and the new signs installed at the preserve.
An updated North Star Nature Preserve Management Plan was adopted by Pitkin County commissioners in August 2015. The plan is available for download below. It guides management of roughly 245 acres of open space just south of Aspen that encompass significant wetland and riparian areas as well as other important wildlife habitat. The plan also addresses human use of North Star, where floating the Roaring Fork River during the summer months has become increasingly popular.