Happening 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, including new "Quiet Zone" signs in the vicinity of the heron nesting area. We will also upgrade the existing viewing stand, located at the north parking lot, with new information and a new and better scope.
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. All of these efforts are continuing in 2017. Find out more about the programs through the link below (Floating North Star).
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.