Upper Roaring Fork River Management Plan

The City of Aspen and Pitkin County are working with a team of consultants to develop a management plan for the upper Roaring Fork watershed. The Roaring Fork River is highly valued by Aspen residents and visitors, and the quality of life in the valley and success of the local economy relies largely on the Roaring Fork’s ability to support a variety of water uses—both consumptive in nature like agricultural and municipal uses and non-consumptive in nature like environmental and recreational uses.

The goal of this project is to outline and prioritize options for improving or maintaining the health of the upper Roaring Fork River in a way that reflects local values and priorities, as well as administrative and legal realities governing the use of water in Colorado.

This effort was motivated by several studies in the early 2000’s showing varying degrees of ecological degradation in the stretch of the Roaring Fork that flows through Aspen. The project will use a scientific, data-centered approach to understand existing conditions in the upper Roaring Fork Watershed and recommend management alternatives that respond to those conditions. Additionally, the project will use a “social” approach to understand the community’s values and priorities for the recommended alternatives.

The documents on the right hand of this page offer information on specific sections of the Roaring Fork River and the basic elements of a river and the potential threats to river health in this valley.

Thank you for your interest in the Roaring Fork River. Research into relevant studies and reports has shown us that the stretch through North Star Nature Preserve, the City of Aspen, and the Roaring Fork Gorge as moderately to severely degraded. Please take the survey below to help us understand interests or concerns on other stretches of the river and to help us in our suggestions for potential solutions. It should take about five minutes. You can also leave a question for us in the Q & A section.

We are asking for your input regarding river-related interests and values at this early stage of the planning process to get an early sense of where these priorities lie. We will be seeking much more focused and targeted input from community stakeholders later this summer, after we identify a suite of possible alternative management strategies. At that point we will ask the public to provide input on the various alternatives, in light of the relative considerations and trade-offs involved with each.

The City of Aspen and Pitkin County are working with a team of consultants to develop a management plan for the upper Roaring Fork watershed. The Roaring Fork River is highly valued by Aspen residents and visitors, and the quality of life in the valley and success of the local economy relies largely on the Roaring Fork’s ability to support a variety of water uses—both consumptive in nature like agricultural and municipal uses and non-consumptive in nature like environmental and recreational uses.

The goal of this project is to outline and prioritize options for improving or maintaining the health of the upper Roaring Fork River in a way that reflects local values and priorities, as well as administrative and legal realities governing the use of water in Colorado.

This effort was motivated by several studies in the early 2000’s showing varying degrees of ecological degradation in the stretch of the Roaring Fork that flows through Aspen. The project will use a scientific, data-centered approach to understand existing conditions in the upper Roaring Fork Watershed and recommend management alternatives that respond to those conditions. Additionally, the project will use a “social” approach to understand the community’s values and priorities for the recommended alternatives.

The documents on the right hand of this page offer information on specific sections of the Roaring Fork River and the basic elements of a river and the potential threats to river health in this valley.

Thank you for your interest in the Roaring Fork River. Research into relevant studies and reports has shown us that the stretch through North Star Nature Preserve, the City of Aspen, and the Roaring Fork Gorge as moderately to severely degraded. Please take the survey below to help us understand interests or concerns on other stretches of the river and to help us in our suggestions for potential solutions. It should take about five minutes. You can also leave a question for us in the Q & A section.

We are asking for your input regarding river-related interests and values at this early stage of the planning process to get an early sense of where these priorities lie. We will be seeking much more focused and targeted input from community stakeholders later this summer, after we identify a suite of possible alternative management strategies. At that point we will ask the public to provide input on the various alternatives, in light of the relative considerations and trade-offs involved with each.