Delta County: Three county commissioners, reps from the BLM the Town of Hotchkiss and conservationists hold meeting to discuss the Gunnison River as a recreation corridor through the county


From The Delta County Independent (Hank Lohmeyer):

The Hartland Dam Reconstruction project has ignited a blaze of local enthusiasm for a long stretch of recreational river. Excitement for the idea was running high last Thursday during a meeting of about 15 people who see river recreation as the next big thing. Represented at the session were the county (three commissioners, planning, and administration), the City of Delta (community development, parks, recreation), the Bureau of Land Management (Gunnison Gorge NCA manager), Town of Hotchkiss, Trout Unlimited, and the NFRIA Conservation Center of Paonia. The group’s idea is to complete a “concept paper” in two weeks that will outline a vision of a river recreation corridor through Delta County. The paper could lead to a planning grant from GOCO…

[County Commissioner Olen Lund] pointed out that there’s a lot of private ownership along the banks of the river, and private owners aren’t always receptive to river floaters and their sometimes inconsiderate ways. A county-sponsored public meeting of river corridor property owners took place in 2006 at the Bill Heddles Recreation Center. That meeting resulted in a deluge of opposition from landowners against promoting river recreation in the county. The meeting fairly stifled any broad discussion of the concept, until now.

Now, with the Hartland Dam reconstruction project connecting the river to boaters above and below Delta, and with the availability of GOCO money for comprehensive river corridor planning, the Gunnison River recreation idea has re-emerged.

More Gunnison River basin coverage here and here.

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