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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 Open Space considers 'tool library'

Courtesy of Pitkin County Open Space and Trails

Pitkin County’s Open Space and Trails program leases 240 acres of agricultural land to local farmers, and now the board is considering shouldering some of the costs for tools, too.


Farm equipment is expensive and can be prohibitive, even as the open space program offers low-cost leases for agricultural lands.

But open space officials think an agricultural tool library may be the solution. Local farmers would acquire some of the key equipment necessary for farming — like tractors, trucks and manure spreaders — and start sharing them.


“If we want agriculture to thrive on our land, this is that piece,” said Gary Tennenbaum, Open Space and Trails director. 

Local farmers would pay an annual fee to maintain the equipment, as well as a user fee.

At an Open Space and Trails budget meeting yesterday, board members agreed to consider a $50,000 grant for seed money to get the program off the ground. The open space budget still needs approval from the Board of County Commissioners.


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.
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