ASPEN – Public comment is now being accepted on a draft management plan for Wheatley Open Space, a 105-acre property in lower Snowmass Canyon.
The draft plan was presented Sept. 1 to the Pitkin County Open Space and Trails Board. It will be open to public comment through Oct. 16. Interested citizens can find the plan, and an online comment form, at www.pitkinostprojects.com (click on the Wheatley link).
The property was purchased as open space with the goal of preserving wildlife habitat, local agriculture and scenic quality, and providing recreational access. The property is easily visible from Highway 82 at the entrance to Snowmass Canyon in Old Snowmass. The Rio Grande Trail, Lower River Road and the Roaring Fork River cross through the parcel. The property encompasses roughly 2,900 feet of river frontage. The land also offers hiking access to Wheatley Gulch, which leads to Bureau of Land Management property to the north.
The draft management plan proposes little change to existing conditions and uses of the open space. Seasonal closures are proposed for wildlife. As proposed, public access is limited to Wheatley Gulch, paths to the river on either side of Highway 82, and a rocky beach area. Recreation is also accommodated on the Rio Grande Trail, though the trail corridor is not part of the open space.
About 24 acres of Wheatley Open Space are irrigated; they will be incorporated into the county’s agricultural lease program.
Aspen Valley Land Trust holds a conservation easement over the open space.
Contact: Lindsey Utter, Senior Environmental PlannerPitkin County Open Space and Trails970-920-5224 or firstname.lastname@example.org