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Maroon Creek Valley

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

As Aspen city staff plans 2018 budgets, spending on water rights is expected to increase.

 

The city spent $89,000 this year on legal work to keep their rights to build reservoirs on Castle and Maroon creeks. The city faces opposition in water court from environmental groups, property owners and other government agencies.

 

Brent Gardner-Smith/Aspen Journalism

City of Aspen staff is working to understand and prepare for future water needs. Part of that could mean a reservoir to store municipal water. The city also faces opposition from environmental groups and private landowners in state water court over its rights to build dams on Castle and Maroon Creeks.

Brent Gardner-Smith / Aspen Journalism

Aspen City Council hopes to get voter approval to buy land for municipal water storage, and they’ll discuss a ballot question Monday night.

 

Courtesy of Brent Gardner-Smith/Aspen Journalism

Last month the City of Aspen announced plans to buy about 60 acres of land in Woody Creek that would be used for a reservoir in the future. It’s part of the city’s work to explore options other than using water rights to build reservoirs on Castle and Maroon Creeks. Environment reporter Elizabeth Stewart-Severy has been reporting on the issue and talked with producer Christin Kay about the latest developments.

Brent Gardner-Smith / Aspen Journalism

As the City of Aspen is poised to purchase land that could be used as a reservoir, city council heard about the need for such water storage.

Courtesy of City of Aspen

As it faces opposition to its water rights to build dams on Castle and Maroon creeks, the City of Aspen is now is under contract to buy land as an alternative site for a reservoir.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

Earlier this week, Aspen City Council heard an update on studies of the town’s risk for water storage.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy/Aspen Public Radio News

City of Aspen voters will elect a mayor and two council seats next month. Some locals are pushing for new blood on council, largely because of the current council’s vote to hold on to water rights to build dams on Castle and Maroon creeks. Elizabeth Stewart-Severy has been following the issue and is here to give us an update.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy/Aspen Public Radio News

Jay Parker knows his way around Aspen’s mine tunnels. He’s spent about 40 years working at the Smuggler Mine. On a recent tour, he added consideration of water storage to the history and geology that he provides.

Courtesy of Wilderness Workshop

The City of Aspen is working to retain conditional water rights to build reservoirs on Maroon and Castle Creeks, and the court battle could get expensive.

Courtesy of Wilderness Workshop

The last day to formally challenge the City of Aspen’s conditional water rights on Maroon and Castle creeks was Dec. 31. At least 10 people and organizations are opposing the city in court.

American Rivers

The City of Aspen has filed to keep conditional water rights on Castle and Maroon creeks because, council members say, the town may one day need water storage. The national advocacy group American Rivers plans to be one of several organizations that will oppose the city in water court.

On this week’s Mountain Edition, hosts Alycin Bektesh and Wyatt Orme present a compilation of the week’s news.

Aspen Public Radio News

Pitkin County commissioners voted Tuesday to oppose the City of Aspen’s claim to conditional water rights on Maroon and Castle creeks.

Courtesy of Wilderness Workshop

Earlier this fall, Aspen City Council heard loud and clear that residents don’t want to see dams on Castle or Maroon creeks, and then filed to keep the rights to build reservoirs there anyway. Now the city is making good on its promise to explore other options.

Courtesy of demography.dola.colorado.gov

As the national conversation about climate change heats up, the City of Aspen is turning its eye toward planning for a warmer, drier future. Aspen and other resort towns face a unique challenge in predicting just how many people might be living here in decades to come.  

Courtesy of Wilderness Workshop

Pitkin County’s Healthy Rivers board has drafted a letter asking commissioners to oppose the city of Aspen’s conditional water rights on Maroon and Castle creeks. Aspen Public Radio environment reporter Elizabeth Stewart-Severy sat down with commissioner Rachel Richards, who is heavily involved in local and statewide water issues.

Courtesy of Wilderness Workshop

Aspen City Council voted unanimously last night to keep the water rights to build reservoirs on Maroon and Castle creeks. The vote comes despite public opposition.

Courtesy of Wilderness Workshop

After the city took a rare step in seeking public input, staff is rejecting the overwhelming suggestion to abandon the rights. David Hornbacher, who is heading up the project for the city, wrote in a memo to city council that staff recommends keeping those rights.

Courtesy of U.S. Forest Service

Fire officials are keeping a close eye on a fire burning about a mile northwest of Highland Bowl.

The Maroon Fire was ignited by lightning last Tuesday, and smoke was visible yesterday. Firefighters are not on the ground because of potential dangers.

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