PitCo Open Space plans for a big 2018

Oct 23, 2017

A sign warns visitors that this part of the Northstar Nature Preserve is closed to people. Pitkin County Open Space and Trails officials said the biodiversity policy is a key part of budgetary decisions.
Credit Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

Pitkin County Open Space and Trails officials are facing one of their biggest years yet. Elizabeth Stewart-Severy details on the 2018 budget.

The Open Space program has what director Gary Tennenbaum called “a very healthy” fund, with an estimated $12.5 million coming in for 2018.

At a meeting earlier this month, board member Tim McFlynn reiterated the department’s focus on protecting wildlife. That was made formal in a biodiversity policy last year.


“That policy really applies, as I understand it, to everything we do: trails, acquisitions, management plans,” McFlynn said.

Open Space and Trails officials plan to consider policies around e-bikes, agricultural leases, historical structures and water rights in 2018. They are also in the early stages of planning a trail in the Crystal River Valley.

The Board of County Commissioners is scheduled to consider the department’s budget Tuesday.