Crystal Valley Environmental Protection Association - CVEPA
A pedestrian/bicycle path between Carbondale and Crested Butte has been on the books since 2002. The first segments have now been started at both ends. Planning for the next phase of the Pitkin County part along the Crystal River has not yet started.
In 2001, the Colorado Department of Reclamation, Mining and Safety completed its 7-year reclamation program on land ravaged by a century of coal mining in upper Coal Basin. Using a new technology, CVEPA has undertaken a creative program to address lingering revegetation problem areas in the basin that critically impact on-site erosion and downstream water quality of the Crystal River.
Board members John Armstrong and Chuck Downey have given considerable time over the last several years working with the Forest Service and CDOT to find a solution for disposing of highway rock fall with minimal environmental impact.
For decades CVEPA has sought long term protection for the Crystal River, and Wild and Scenic designation can provide that protection. Currently CVEPA is watching a citizen's committee work on a proposal for such designation.
Yule Creek Marble Quarry
The famous Yule Creek Marble Quarry, now called the Pride of America Mine, is owned by the Italian Company Red Graniti. In October 2019 CVEPA reported the illegal manipulation of Yule Creek from its drainage.
Public Access Threatened in the Crystal Valley
Residents of Dorais Way (at the north bridge to Redstone) have illegally gated and blocked public access to the 135-year-old historic public route along the Crystal. By doing this they have denied the public’s access to Pitkin County Open Space’s Filoha Meadows Nature Preserve. CVEPA has supported Pitkin County’s lawsuit against the homeowners’ actions. We await the District Court’s decision which is imminent.
The Alabaster mine on Avalanche Creek was purchased by a major mining company in 2011. There are a number of significant environmental concerns with their proposed expansion. CVEPA has conducted a 3-year campaign to mitigate the negative impacts.
In April 2016, the Bureau of Land Management unveiled a “Preliminary Preferred Alternative” that, if finalized, would fully cancel 25 undeveloped, improperly-issued leases in the Thompson Divide area. This is in lock step with the 2015 ruling by the Forest Service in their Final Environmental Impact Statement which protects Thompson Divide from oil and gas exploration or development. The BLM ruling is huge step, but not the final word as Oil and Gas companies and their supporters will no doubt challenge this ruling.