Pitkin County Open Space and Trails has placed 10 acres near the south end of Filoha Meadows Nature Preserve under contract.
The Board of County Commissioners will take up the $1,550,000 purchase on first reading on July 24. Second reading and a public hearing are scheduled Aug. 14. The Open Space and Trails board voted 3-0 on July 11 to recommend approval of the acquisition.
The Wildin property provides a bridge connection from Hwy. 133 to the east side of the Crystal River, contains two residential units and offers about 900 feet of Crystal River frontage.
If the purchase is approved by county commissioners, it will give Open Space and Trails an important point of access to Filoha, a 185-acre open space east of the Crystal River where direct access is limited. The need for better access was dramatically underscored this summer, as high flows in the Crystal River have forced the cancellation four evening programs at Filoha so far. The popular programs, led by the Roaring Fork Conservancy with support from Open Space and Trails, typically make use of a bridge near Penny Hot Springs, opposite Filoha. Use of the bridge has been suspended until river flows drop. Some of the programs may be rescheduled.
“This property provides a bridge alternative and numerous other benefits,” said Gary Tennenbaum, director of Open Space and Trails. “The parcel offers a superior portal to Filoha Meadows, parking, equipment storage and potential housing for an open space ranger or maintenance personnel based in the Crystal Valley. The parcel could also play a role in a future trail between Redstone and Penny Hot Springs, since the trail plan approved last year does not have an alignment that would go through Filoha Meadows.”
"We have owned this stunningly beautiful stretch of the Crystal River since 2006,” said Jeff Wildin, one of the sellers of the property. “We are very pleased to work with the county's Open Space Program to see our property now enhance Filoha Meadows Nature Preserve."
Filoha Meadows and Penny Hot Springs are but two of the Open Space and Trails program’s growing number of open spaces in the Crystal Valley. The hot springs, located west of the river and opposite from the north end of Filoha, are the focus of a current management planning process, while the management plan for Filoha is scheduled to be updated in 2020.
Contact: Dale Will
Acquisition and Special Projects Director
Pitkin County Open Space and Trails
firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-618-5708
Jeff Wildin (seller) 602-803-4505