CRYSTAL RIVER RESTORATION & enhancement PROJECT
Aspen Valley Land Trust is partnering with the Town of Carbondale and River Valley Ranch to restore a 1.4-mile stretch of the Crystal River and adjacent riparian area which is owned by the Town. The area includes six Town parks and runs roughly from Nuche Park through River Valley Ranch.
The nonprofit American Rivers named the Crystal River America’s eighth-most endangered river in 2012, due to water diversions and the loss and degradation of aquatic and riparian habitat. Noted hydrologist Dave Rosgen, and his company Wildland Hydrology, are working with the Town to develop a plan that will:
· Provide a diversity of recreational opportunities and amenities;
· Creation of a stabilized stream-bed and mitigate bank erosion;
· Protect bridges and other infrastructure from erosion;
· Provide educational opportunities and on-going stewardship; and
· Provide a successful and sustainable model for additional river/riparian improvements in our region and beyond.
National Geographic dubbed Rosgen the “Restoration Cowboy” for his extensive work throughout the Rocky Mountain region. Rosgen embodies a new generation of river managers who champion “natural channel design” — the art of making rivers look and function like rivers rather than canals.
The Carbondale Crystal River Project is in the preliminary stages and the Town is seeking a planning grant from Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) for final design. Aspen Valley Land Trust, which has conserved more than 60 miles of local stream corridors is assisting with the project by writing grants and providing project support. AVLT hopes that the project will serve as an example for how other public and private landowners can enhance stream and riparian area health and water quality.
The Town of Carbondale hosted an open house on March 6, 2015 to seek public comment a conceptual plan prepared by Wildland Hydrology. For more information on the project, contact Carbondale Town Manager Jay Harrington at 963-2733.