© 2024 Aspen Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
The environment desk at Aspen Public Radio covers issues in the Roaring Fork Valley and throughout the state of Colorado including water use and quality, impact of recreation, population growth and oil and gas development. APR’s Environment Reporter is Elizabeth Stewart-Severy.

PitCo to conserve Basalt ranch

Courtesy of Pitkin County Open Space and Trails

Pitkin County Open Space and Trails is investing millions of dollars in an effort to preserve St. Jude’s Ranch in Basalt.

Pitkin County is offering a longtime local family more than $5 million to conserve 260 acres stretching from Light Hill to the Roaring Fork River and bordering Basalt High School. The Rio Grande Trail runs through the property.


“The conservation of this ranch protects scenery, agriculture and habitat, and really enhances recreation by providing a permanent buffer around the Rio Grande Trail, as well,” said Dale Will, Open Space and Trails acquisitions director.  

The easement also includes protection of agricultural water rights for 125 irrigated acres. The property owners, the Cerise family, would continue to own and operate their ranch. While the agreement protects most of the area from development, it does allow for up to six homes on a 15-acre building envelope.

The Board of County Commissioners plan to discuss the purchase on Wednesday, Dec. 7.

Aspen native Elizabeth Stewart-Severy is excited to be making a return to both the Red Brick, where she attended kindergarten, and the field of journalism. She has spent her entire life playing in the mountains and rivers around Aspen, and is thrilled to be reporting about all things environmental in this special place. She attended the University of Colorado with a Boettcher Scholarship, and graduated as the top student from the School of Journalism in 2006. Her lifelong love of hockey lead to a stint working for the Colorado Avalanche, and she still plays in local leagues and coaches the Aspen Junior Hockey U-19 girls.
Related Content