Aspen Abandons Plans to Build Maroon Creek & Castle Creek Dams

Aspen—The city of Aspen’s decision to abandon the plans to build dams on Maroon and Castle Creeks is being lauded by conservationists.  They’re all so happy, they plan to raise a glass of cheer during a happy hour celebration next week.  Officials with Western Resource Advocates say the dams would have flooded important wildlife and recreation areas in addition to portions of the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area and would had long-lasting impacts to the valley.  According to the agreement, Aspen is committed to pursuing other water storage options that will do less harm to local rivers and streams.  One alternative under consideration includes a site near the gravel quarry at Woody Creek.  Matt Rice, the Colorado River Basin Director for American Rivers says the city’s decision is a victory for rivers in the Roaring Fork Valley.  The plans were also opposed by Wilderness Workshop,Trout Unlimited, Pitkin County and the White River National Forest.