Following two years of planning, meetings and public input, Pitkin County commissioners and the Open Space and Trails Board will take up the proposed Carbondale to Crested Butte Plan on Wednesday, Nov. 7th in Carbondale.
The meeting will begin at 1 p.m. at the Third Street Center in Carbondale. First, the Open Space and Trails Board will discuss the plan and take public comment before making a recommendation to county commissioners. Commissioners will then consider the Open Space Board’s recommendation, discuss any further revisions they wish to see in the plan and decide whether to approve the plan on first reading. If commissioners give initial approval to the plan, a second reading and public hearing will take place Dec. 5th.
If the trail plan is adopted, it is not the end of the process, but rather the start of many steps yet to come, said Gary Tennenbaum, director of Open Space and Trails.
“County adoption sets in motion only phase one, which is a soft-surface trail from Redstone to the top of McClure Pass. This will include more public process during the federal NEPA review and approval by CDOT in order to move forward to construction,” he said.
Also included in the first phase of the plan are a number of initiatives aimed at biodiversity.
“These are actions that the County included in the plan after reviewing the County’s ecological consultants’ reports, meetings with Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Forest Service, and hearing concerns expressed by the public about river health and wildlife,” Tennenbaum said.
The 2019 Open Space and Trails budget includes not only continued planning for the first phase of the trail, but also funding to explore Crystal River enhancements, wildlife monitoring in the Crystal Valley and efforts to improve the resiliency of the Crystal’s bighorn sheep herd.
If the plan is approved, all future phases of the trail, between Redstone and the KOA Campground, will require funding and design approvals from the Open Space and Trails Board and county commissioners. All future phases will include public input and participation in the design, Tennenbaum said.
The Carbondale to Crested Butte Plan is a vision – the starting point for years of planning and discussion, he said.
The latest version of the Carbondale to Crested Butte Trail Plan will be posted online at www.pitkinOSTprojects.com prior to the Nov. 7th meeting. Also posted on the website are public comments collected during each step of the planning process, videos of previous hearings on the plan, environmental and engineering reports that went into the drafting of the plan and more.
Contact: Gary Tennenbaum, Pitkin County Open Space and Trails director