Public comment period extended for potential Carbondale trail

Aspen Daily News Staff Report
The Pitkin County commissioners and Open Space and Trails Board announced Tuesday that the public comment period for the potential alignment of a new trail from Carbondale to Crested Butte will be extended to Oct. 30.
 
During recent meetings about the contentious trail, some residents suggested that more time be given for the public to weigh in on the issue, a press release says. Residents cited the breadth of wildlife and engineering data that needs to be considered.
 
“People will have more time to review the information and make their comments, and we’ll push back the timetable for getting a plan adopted until early in 2018,” said open space and trails director Gary Tennenbaum. The deadline had been Oct. 2.
 
The trail alternatives were unveiled last week at a pair of well-attended open houses in Redstone and Carbondale. County officials want public input on alignment options for each trail segment. Information about the trail and possible alignments is available at pitkinostprojects.com, along with an online survey to collect feedback from residents. That input will help inform whichever alignment is proposed in the trail’s draft plan.
 
“The end goal is thoughtful public input from community members who will have more time to contemplate the complex information we’ve provided, and more time for us to work with Colorado Parks and Wildlife on a plan that also furthers the goals of wildlife officials,” Tennenbaum said.
 
A joint meeting of county commissioners, the open space board and Carbondale trustees is scheduled for Oct. 17 at Carbondale Town Hall. Officials will update the public on the trail process, and residents can ask questions of project consultants and open space staff. Final adoption of a plan may happen in February or March, the release says.
 
The proposal involves the extension of a multi-use trail from the end of the existing Crystal Trail to Redstone, and routing a single-track path from Redstone to the summit of McClure Pass. A separate planning process in Gunnison County is focused on completing a single-track trail between the pass and Crested Butte.
 
The Carbondale-to-Crested Butte Trail is part of the Colorado’s 16 initiative, which prioritized trail connections of statewide significance around the state.