Crystal River

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Crystal River

Date: 06/23/2023     State: CO     Issues: Watersheds, Wildlife     Partner: Crystal River Coalition Airport Origin : Aspen, CO    


Efforts are underway to protect the Crystal River in Colorado, located near EcoFlight's home-base. We flew with stakeholders, town officials, and photographers to discuss the threats and potentials for protection designations on the Crystal River.

A collective appreciation for this watershed and all that it provides is a unifying force. The Crystal supports local, sustainable agriculture, and generational family ranches. Recreational opportunities abound: fly fishing, rock climbing, wilderness backpacking, four-wheeling and snowmobiling, backcountry skiing, and more. The watershed also remains a haven for wildlife, with critical summer and winter habitat. Some of Colorado’s most popular hunting units are adjacent to the Crystal River, bringing tangible economic benefits to the valley each year. The Crystal Valley provides a peaceful haven for residents and visitors alike.

Recognizing the ecological and community importance of the Crystal, in April 2023, a public meeting at the Marble Fire Station kicked off a facilitated stakeholder process that will consider ways to protect the Crystal, including the feasibility of a federal Wild and Scenic River designation. EcoFlight is excited to be part of this process, help secure permanent protections for the Crystal that would prevent dams and out of basin diversions, and continue providing flights as a platform for community members to get to know one another while enjoying this beloved river and spectacular valley from above.

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