Pitkin County will reach out to a slew of recreational groups to study how they use five public properties between Aspen and Woody Creek.
The county commissioners on Tuesday were briefed on the planning process for what’s known as the “Roaring Fork Gorge Management Plan.”
The county’s open space and trails department will inventory and analyze five properties between Stein and Jaffee parks: the Red Butte Ranch open space, Airport Ranch, the Denver/Rio Grande Railroad corridor, Mills Ranch and Stein Park.
Gary Tennenbaum, stewardship and trails manager with the open space department, said the lands are part of the upper valley’s huge trail system used by residents in the county, Aspen and Snowmass Village.
The area contains dozens of trails, some of the so-called “bandit” variety, down to the Roaring Fork River for fishing access. Some are dangerously steep, Tennenbaum said.
Recreation planner Lindsey Utter said the next three months will entail meeting with user groups. According to a county memo, those groups include rafters, anglers, rock and ice climbers, road cyclists, mountain bikers, Nordic skiers, and hikers and runners.
Tennenbaum said he is “very worried” about the effort to reach the latter users because there is no formal organization for those endeavors.
There will be three open houses and three site tours in the next few months, Utter said.
Comments from the commissioners, the county open space board, the city’s open space department, City Council, and the Healthy Rivers and Streams citizen advisory board also will be incorporated into the draft plan.