Crystal River – Media Flight

Home » » Crystal River – Media Flight

Crystal River – Media Flight

Date: 04/03/2024     State: CO     Issue: Watersheds     Partner: Pitkin County Healthy Rivers Airport Origin : Aspen, CO    


With movement in the Crystal River Steering Committee, EcoFlight took to the skies with Aspen Daily News, KDNK, and the Sopris Sun to educate on the Committee's decision to study three different potential means of protection for the Crystal River. Check out flight passengers articles on the Crystal River progressions, here and here.


The Crystal River is one of the last undammed and undiverted rivers in Colorado, and it is a major tributary of the Roaring Fork River which provides between 6-12% of the Colorado River's annual flow. In early 2023, the Crystal River Wild and Scenic and Other Alternatives Feasibility Collaborative Steering Committee convened to consider how best to protect a 39-mile segment of the Crystal River, from its headwaters to just above Carbondale, now and into the future.

At a meeting on Feb. 29th, 2024, the Steering Committee reached consensus on next steps for three potential protection tools for the Crystal River: use of an intergovernmental agreement, a "peaking instream flow" right, and a Wild and Scenic designation. Subcommittees formed to explore the specifics of each of these tools and report back to the Steering Committee.

With support from Pitkin County Healthy Rivers, EcoFlight has been providing overflights to Steering Committee members, press, local government representatives, students, and experts to share the big-picture perspective on the necessity of protecting the Crystal and its local character. EcoFlight's Conservation Program Manager, Lea Linse, has been a member of the Steering Committee since its inception and is now a co-chair of the Wild and Scenic Subcommittee. The subcommittee's first meeting on March 28th kicked off a series of meetings and discussions through which the group will learn about Wild and Scenic River legislation in-depth and how the legislative language can be tailored to the Crystal Valley environment and community.

EcoFlight's founder Bruce Gordon has flown beautiful and wild rivers all over the Western U.S. and the world, yet he says that the Crystal is one of the most spectacular he has had the pleasure to connect with from above. In an era of over-allocated rivers, political division, drought-stressed ecosystems, and high tensions around water in the West, it is essential that we identify and protect those places that are too special to develop and find common ground to advance durable protections. The Crystal River Wild and Scenic and Other Alternatives Feasibility Collaborative Steering Committee, and now its 3 subcommittees are leading this charge on the Crystal.

Click for photos from the flightClick for EcoFlight’s Crystal River photo collectionClick for geo-referenced photos from the flight.

Flight Images

Flight Location

Related News