The public, especially motorized users and Castle Creek Valley residents, is getting yet another chance to bend the ears of the U.S. Forest Service and Pitkin County on what’s special about the Castle Creek Valley. In April over 40 people attended the first meeting held by the USFS and Pitkin County. Motorized recreational users and residents of Castle Creek Valley weren’t well-represented at the first meeting. Officials want to add their input to data they’re collecting from other users including hikers, bikers, and cross country skiers, etc.
“Motorized recreational use in the Castle Creek Valley and valleys that are accessed via Castle Creek like Express Creek, Montezuma and Pearl Pass are important to an overall management plan, said Director of Pitkin County Community Development, Cindy Houben. “We have to address things like parking issues and noise and the pressure that special events put on the valley while balancing the desire for a quality residential, cultural, historical, environmental, and spiritual experience in the valley," Houben said.
All stakeholders, including hikers, cyclists, equestrians, four-wheelers, motorcyclist, fishermen, sightseers, Castle Creek homeowners, etc. are invited to join the conversation on Thursday, July 16th from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Sister Cities Meeting Room in Aspen City Hall, 130 S. Galena St., in Aspen.
Only 9% of the land in the Castle Creek Valley Watershed is private. The remaining 91% is public land managed by the USFS. The majority of the roadways in Castle Creek are owned by Pitkin County and most of them traverse USFS lands. The Forest Service currently has a management plan in place for the White River National Forest, which includes the Castle Creek Valley, a White River National Forest Travel Management Plan, and an Aspen Historical Society Ashcroft Townsite Plan. Pitkin County has a Castle/Maroon Creek Master Plan, a Nordic Master Plan, and a Road Maintenance & Management Plan. Pitkin County and the Forest Service share responsibility for a Richmond Ridge Management Plan and the Ashcroft Ski Area Plan. These plans will be updated after the current public process.
“This is a collaborative effort where the county and USFS can support common and overarching goals through management procedures and techniques,” said USFS Recreation Manager, Martha Moran.
Pitkin County Community Development and U.S. Forest Service officials will be on hand at the meeting to offer information and collect feedback. Comments are also being collected online at www.pitkincountyconnect.com. For more information call: Cindy Houben, Pitkin County at 970-920-5097 or Martha Moran, USFS at 970-963-2266