Arbaney Mesa project complete

By Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Real AspenSeptember 13, 2012
A habitat improvement project on Arbaney Mesa is complete, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the U.S. Forest Service.

The agencies cooperated in the joint effort to clear nearly 315 acres of over-mature oakbrush in what is considered prime, big-game winter range.

With a goal of maximizing efficiency and reducing costs, the Bureau of Land Management and Pitkin County Open Space recently allowed work crews to use ATVs on the Arbaney - Kittle trail that leads up to the project site. The trail is normally off limits to all motorized traffic.

"Without the use of ATV's, work crews would have needed to carry their equipment nearly four miles up the trail," said Kevin Wright, District Wildlife Manager in Aspen for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. "Because of the public's help and cooperation, the project wrapped-up quickly and we were able to save time and money."

Wildlife and forest managers say that new growth is already visible in the cleared area, providing forage that will benefit big game migrating to Arbaney Mesa during winter.

"Clearing decadent brush made room for new, nutritious forage that is very beneficial for wintering wildlife," said Area Wildlife Manager Perry Will, of Colorado Parks and Wildlife. "We thank the public for their patience while the project was underway."

The trail has returned to its previous status prohibiting motorized vehicles.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife was created by the merger of Colorado State Parks and the Colorado Division of Wildlife, two nationally recognized leaders in conservation, outdoor recreation and wildlife management. Colorado Parks and Wildlife manages 42 state parks, all of Colorado's wildlife, more than 300 state wildlife areas and a host of recreational programs.

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