SkiCo officials have taken the position that broader character and use concerns on the backside should not hinder the review of their ski area proposal. County planning staffers disagree.
Total overnight visitors accessing the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness via the 10 most popular trailheads reached a new record in 2020, with 18,324 entering the backcountry to camp, according to data collected by the Forest Service.
There is no designated parking near the Lead King Loop trailhead for the trucks and trailers needed to haul the machines. Many in Marble feel this has put the squeeze on their town, population 140, which has limited resources and infrastructure to handle the influx.
This spring, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) completed its analysis of the site and determined that contaminant levels in the material are within the range considered to be non-threatening to human health for a day-use recreation site.
While the commissioners did not enact a de facto moratorium on OHV, ATV and UTV traffic on the county road leading to the Lead King Loop, the discovery of a language error in a county resolution served to elevate the issue.
Gunnison County commissioners expressed concern that an immediate, partial ban would be counterproductive but called for partner agencies to ‘lean in’ to long-term solutions.
The Storm Peak Lab station will be the latest added to a growing network of dust-on-snow monitoring towers across Colorado and Utah. Such stations offer key insights to researchers studying how dust impacts the timing and intensity of snowpack melt.
An academic study found broad-based concern among residents about “degraded quality of life” related to the increasing number of visitors.
Gathering data at all elevations throughout the Roaring Fork Valley provides scientists with a localized, clearer picture of how climate change is impacting the hydrologic cycle at the Colorado basin’s headwaters.
“This use, combined with new patterns of social distancing, has translated into visible impacts and degradation on the land,” according to OST director Tennenbaum.