Public can weigh in on Maroon Bells management plan |

Public can weigh in on Maroon Bells management plan

The public is invited to participate in a workshop Thursday in Aspen to provide input and learn more about the Maroon Bells Comprehensive Recreation Management Plan effort.

Residents can stop by anytime from 5-7 p.m. at the Pitkin County Building, 530 E Main St.

The county, the city of Aspen, White River National Forest, Roaring Fork Transportation Authority, Aspen Skiing Co. and Aspen Chamber Resort Association are in the initial stages of developing a comprehensive plan to monitor and manage visitation at the iconic Maroon Bells Scenic Area.

“Public input will be an important component of developing this plan throughout the process,” said Brian Pettit, Pitkin County Public Works director, in a statement. “Before we get too far into the process, we want to hear what the public has to say about our initial work on a conceptual framework, vision and objectives. And we want to ensure they know how to effectively stay involved.”

Visitation to the Maroon Bells Scenic Area has more than doubled over the past decade, creating management challenges including maintaining a quality visitor experience while minimizing impacts to natural resources.

“The involvement of stakeholders and the public from the onset of this effort is critical to ensuring we consider and address all interests and concerns,” said Kevin Warner, White River National Forest Aspen-Sopris District Ranger, in a statement. “The long-term visitor management strategy for the Maroon Bells Scenic Area could have a large impact on aspects of the local economy.”

A comprehensive recreation management plan for the Maroon Bells Scenic Area will identify sustainable levels of access to the scenic area while accounting for local economic and other community impacts. All modes of transportation and types of access will be considered as part of this planning process, according to a news release from Pitkin County.

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