OPEN SPACE AND TRAILS BOARD ADOPTS MANAGEMENT PLAN A draft management plan for Penny Hot Springs (see link above) won unanimous approval from the Pitkin County Open Space and Trails Board on March 3. Open Space and Trails will now concentrate on the action items in the plan. Many of them are dependent on a lease agreement with the Colorado Department of Transportation. Work will begin to secure that agreement.
The hot springs, situated on the west bank of the Crystal River north of Redstone, are located partially on Open Space and Trails property and partially on Colorado Department of Transportation right of way. The parking pullout along Hwy. 133, the steep bank between the highway and the river, and the downstream hot springs pools are within CDOT’s right of way.
The management plan, drafted in collaboration with an appointed Steering Committee and two rounds of public input – both before and after the plan was drafted – contains various action items. Most require the lease agreement with CDOT. One immediate step that Open Space and Trails can pursue is placement of a temporary sign on its own parcel at Penny Hot Springs to communicate regulations and environmental ethics to hot springs users. Once a lease agreement is finalized, the goal is to install a sign above the springs, at the parking area, and remove the temporary sign along the river.
RULES FOR HOT SPRINGS USE Open Space and Trails will work to educate hot spring users about the following rules:
No dogs at springs
Leave No Trace – pack in/pack out all items/waste
No amplified music
MANAGEMENT ACTIONS See the management plan for more about the long and colorful history of Penny Hot Springs, rules for its use, and details about its future management. Here’s a summary of management actions that are spelled out in the plan:
Install a trial port-a-potty in the hot springs pullout as soon as CDOT allows it.
Seek a potential spot for an emergency call box at or in the vicinity of the hot springs.
Install interpretive signage that offers information about the history of the springs and explains why the special setting is important to protect.
Redesign the parking area with a defined entrance and exit, and provide about 10 designated parking spaces.
Create a single, sustainable trail route between the parking area and the springs, and stabilize/restore the rest of the hillside.
Work with CDOT and the U.S. Forest Service on alternate locations for parking to serve climbers accessing an area known as the Narrows.
Work with CDOT to delineate a no-passing zone in the southbound lane of Hwy. 133 in the vicinity of the hot springs.
Evaluate other property acquisitions that could help alleviate pressure and problems at the hot springs pullout.
THE STEERING COMMITTEE The management plan for Penny Hot Springs was drafted in accordance with a vision statement, developed by the Steering Committee. The vision: To protect and preserve the natural environment and future use of Penny Hot Springs in a safe and environmentally sustainable manner that is compatible with the location's natural setting and that encourages respect and stewardship.
Members of the Steering Committee: John Hoffmann - West Elk Loop Scenic and Historic Byway Commission John Armstrong - Crystal River Environmental Protection Association Kate Hudson - Healthy Rivers and Streams Board Andrea Stewart or Sarah-Jane Johnson - Carbondale Chamber of Commerce Rebecca Moller or Rose Rossello - Town of Carbondale Parks and Recreation Commission Bill Argeros or Stacey Bernot - Crystal Caucus Dave Johnson - Redstone Community Association Zuleika Pevec - Penny Hot Springs user Michael Gorman - Penny Hot Springs user Jeff Bier - Crystal Valley resident Staff from Open Space and Trails, the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office, Pitkin County Attorney's Office, Pitkin County Environmental Health Department, Colorado Department of Transportation and White River National Forest, as well as Wayne Ives, representing the Open Space and Trails Board, also participated in the planning process.
STAY INFORMED... Watch this site for more information as implementation of the plan moves forward. Sign up below to receive email updates.
For more information contact: Lindsey Utter, Planning and Outreach Manager, Pitkin County Open Space and Trails email@example.com or 970-920-5224