Crystal River Community Meets to Discuss River Protection
On October 26th, community members of the Crystal River Valley convened at Roaring Fork High School in Carbondale to learn about a suite of approaches that would provide protections to the river. This was the second of two public meetings hosted by the Crystal Wild and Scenic and Other Alternatives Feasibility Steering Committee who have been meeting monthly since this past April. The group is chaired by Pitkin and Gunnison counties, Town of Marble, and the Colorado River Water Conservation District with the express purpose of hearing from diverse stakeholders as to what they hope to see for the future of the Crystal River.
American Whitewater has been supporting this group since it was first conceived. We have been encouraging robust and educated conversations amongst stakeholders who have long argued over the proper approach to protect the Crystal River and valley. Wild and Scenic designation has long been discussed amongst valley residents with folks being significantly polarized in their positions. This process has provided a valuable opportunity for folks with all perspectives to discuss their desire and fears around how different protections approaches could effect them.
The community summit was the chance for the Steering Committee to share what they have learned about river protections through the experience of a suite of experts. For some further reading, the summit got some coverage in the Aspen Daily News and the Aspen Times and a longer piece in the Echo– along with a number of LTEs that ran in the Echo, Aspen Daily News, the Aspen Times and Sopris Sun.
The Steering Committee is tasked with making a recommendation to the local government chairs about next steps for river protection by the end of January. It will be important for the river recreation community to ensure this work maintains it’s momentum to ensure we keep the Crystal free flowing.