Fishing takes center stage in Carbondale land purchase

By Real Aspen
Real AspenOctober 12, 2010
The director of the Colorado Division of Wildlife today reiterated the agency's commitment to working with the town of Carbondale and several partners to purchase the Koziel parcel.

Carbondale town representatives and the Division of Wildlife met Friday in Denver to discuss issues around the town's future plans for a kayak water park on the Roaring Fork River adjacent to the Koziel property, which is a popular access point for anglers along the Roaring Fork River that has been leased by the Division of Wildlife for many years. After the meeting, Colorado Division of Wildlife Director Tom Remington emphasized that state and town officials intend to close the purchase of the property, which is under contract.

"The worst thing that could happen is that we would miss this opportunity to secure public access on this parcel," Remington said Monday. "The rest is details and we are committed to working those out. This is a priority for us."

Division of Wildlife officials have expressed concerns over the possible impacts to fish and fishery resources from the construction of structures in the river to create waves and other features preferred by whitewater enthusiasts. Remington said that the town is not ready to immediately move forward with the whitewater park and the division has the town's assurance it would be able to participate in a future planning effort to ensure that potential impacts to the fishery are addressed before any boating structures are placed in the river.

The town has assembled a package of funding that includes $1 million from a Great Outdoors Colorado Legacy Grant awarded to Pitkin County Open Space and Trails in 2006. Carbondale has committed $450,000 and Garfield County agreed to provide $100,000.

The Division of Widlife has agreed to contribute $950,000 to help facilitate the purchase of the Koziel property, which is comprised of 7.8 acres of riverfront land with a boat ramp and parking area.


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