I would like to thank the town of Marble along with the River District and Pitkin and Gunnison counties for hosting the recent Community Summit on the Future of the Crystal River. The river is the lifeblood of this incredible valley and most of it, from the headwaters to just about to Carbondale, runs wild and undammed — a rare thing for a river in Colorado! 

The packed firehouse in Marble — over 100 people were in attendance — made it clear that people up and down our small valley care deeply about the future of the Crystal River and are willing to work together to permanently protect it. At the summit I was reminded that so many of us share the same values when it comes to safeguarding this incredible resource, including keeping it free-flowing while protecting its ecological health and natural beauty.

Soon, a steering committee will be selected, which will then present different options for a path forward for the Crystal at another community summit this upcoming fall. As a resident of the Crystal River Valley and an avid whitewater kayaker, I am excited to see the progress being made. As a real estate broker, my experience is that the wild and free-flowing nature of the river makes our valley a more desirable place to live. 

I encourage my friends, neighbors and all who love the Crystal to stay engaged in this important community conversation. Our beloved Crystal River, in my opinion the prettiest river in the state, depends on it!

Pete Bellande