Pitkin County: ‘Healthy Rivers and Streams Fund’ projects update

A picture named roaringfork

From the Aspen Daily News (Andrew Travers):

The seven-member board is spending a little under $100,000 to hire a consultant to study the Roaring Fork’s streamflow from the Salvation Ditch through Aspen to where it meets Castle Creek. Due to diversions, that most visible bend in the river is often quite low in the summertime. The study will assess what levels of flow are healthy for the Roaring Fork’s ecosystem year-round.

On the Fryingpan, near Basalt, the board is asking for bids from contractors to assess the economic impact the river has on the midvalley. Officials haven’t yet put a ballpark price on that study, Pitkin County attorney John Ely said. They’re seeking an all-encompassing view of the river economy — taking into account not only tourist spending on rafting, fishing and recreation, but also its toll on real estate prices, and how a flowing river may affect home sales.

Those are the first two on-the-ground projects for the board, which was founded with a promise to maintain and improve water quality and quantity, riparian habitats, and protect county water rights from Front Range diversions. The Roaring Fork and Fryingpan projects emerged after the board did a cursory analysis of all rivers and streams in the county.

More Roaring Fork watershed coverage here and here.

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