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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.

Project underway to restore Crystal River in Carbondale

Officials hope to improve water quality, fish habitat and a diversion structure along the Crystal River in Carbondale.

The Crystal River Management Plan identified the mile-and-a-half reach that flows through River Valley Ranch in Carbondale as needing restoration to improve habitat.  

Seven organizations, including the Town of Carbondale, Roaring Fork Conservancy and Aspen Valley Land Trust, as well as state and national groups, have teamed up. The goal is to restore both the in-stream habitat for fish, and riparian areas near Riverfront Park.

The project will also replace the aging headgate of the Weaver Ditch, which runs through the town of Carbondale. This will mean less maintenance, said Heather Lewin with the Roaring Fork Conservancy.

“So you’re seeing in-stream benefits, but you’re also seeing potential benefit to the Town of Carbondale being able to deliver their water more efficiently,” she said.

The project team began analysis of the site last week. Design work could start this summer, with construction slated for 2019.


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.