June 8 open house set to discuss preservation and interpretation at Independence Pass
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — The Top of the Rockies National Scenic Byway is getting a makeover of sorts, and public input is wanted.
Specifically, the by board of directors and the U.S. Forest Service are updated the corridor management plan and interpretive master plan for the 115-mile loop through some of Colorado’s most spectacular terrain.
The Twin Lakes-to-Aspen section along Highway 82 was recently designated as part of the byway and an upcoming public meeting in Aspen will focus on how to improve and interpret the heavily visited summit area at Independence Pass, more than 12,000 feet high.
The byway slices through Summit County from Copper Mountain up to Fremont Pass. It’s only one of 58 National Scenic Byways in the entire country.
Part of the discussion will be about finding a balance between interpretation and maintaining a natural experience, said Ryan Vugteveen, with the team of consultants that’s working on the project. The Forest Service wants to protect fragile tundra and other high alpine resources in the area, and also enable visitor to learn about both the human and natural history.
Below treeline, the Independence Pass area has proven to be important for lynx re-introduced in Southern Colorado and now spreading northward.
Learn more about restoration and other projects in the Independence Pass area at the Independence Pass Foundation website.
The Open House is June 8 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Rio Grande Meeting Room at 455 Rio Grande Place in Aspen. The Byway Board members, Forest Service staff and the consultant team – Bluegreen, Advanced Resource Management and Drexel Barrell, want to hear your ideas about how to improve and interpret the summit area on Independence Pass. Light refreshments will be provided.
If you can’t attend the meeting in person, you can track the updates at the Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway website.
Additional information about the Open House and the project may be obtained by calling Ryan Vugteveen with Bluegreen at 970-429-7499 or Martha Moran with the Forest Service at 970-945-3312.
Filed under: Colorado, transportation, Travel, US Forest Service, White River National Forest Tagged: | Aspen, Colorado news, Colorado transportation, Independence Pass, Leadville, Summit County Colorado, Summit County News, Top of the Rockies scenic byway, U.S. Forest Service