Pitkin County Press Releases

Posted on: December 1, 2015

Community Input Sought for the Pitkin County Healthy Rivers Whitewater Wave and Streamside Project

Healthy Rivers


In advance of the construction of a whitewater wave and streamside improvements in the Roaring Fork River in Basalt, the first of a series of public meetings is being held December 7th to gather public input on the streamside improvements. A Recreational In-Channel Diversion (RICD), already ratified by Colorado Water Conservation Board, Colorado District Court, Water Division No. 5 and the Town of Basalt, will be installed in the Roaring Fork River below Fisherman’s Park in Basalt in the fall of 2016. The RICD will not only create a kayak ‘play wave’ but also secures a significant legal water right to call water seasonally to the project site.

“The kayak play wave is an incidental amenity of what the Healthy Rivers Board was really trying to accomplish and that was securing an important water right for this critically de-watered zone of the Roaring Fork River,” said Healthy Rivers Board Chair, Andre Wille. “The man-made wave will not only be fun for kayakers but it will help maintain healthy river ecology throughout the upper Roaring Fork,” Wille said.

The whitewater wave will be located in the Roaring Fork River about halfway between Fisherman’s Park and the 7 Eleven bridge in Basalt. Currently, the stream-bank adjacent to the proposed wave is extremely narrow and steep. Public input is being gathered to determine the types of streamside amenities that would enhance the community experience alongside the play wave. Ideas include an overlook and seating area, adjacent parking along Two Rivers Road, direct street-to-wave access, a pedestrian/bike trail corridor, an interpretive educational zone, etc.

“This will be a wonderful attraction in the Basalt community and one that we hope will encourage people to play in the river, linger along its banks and stroll our quaint downtown shops and restaurants" said Basalt Mayor, Jacque Whitsitt.

A public meeting/open house is being held on Monday, December 7th at 5:30 p.m. at the Basalt Public Library to gather feedback on this Healthy Rivers Project and the town of Basalt’s River Recreation Plan. A brief overview presentation of the project will be held at 6pm.

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