Since 1972 the Crystal River Environmental Protection Association (CVEPA) has been fighting for the water, land, air, and rural and wilderness culture of the Crystal River Valley. Although we are a small, volunteer organization with no paid staff, we have an impressive history of fighting to protect the incredible environment surrounding us. CVEPA stopped the development of an alpine ski area above Marble, helped to oversee the reclamation of a major coal mine, helped prevent a proposed dam from destroying the upper Crystal River Valley, and continuously works to ensure public access to public lands around the valley.
We hope your mission matches ours. Dues start at $20 per year. Visit our Join Us page and complete the New Membership Form and/or sign-up for our Newsletter.
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The first weekend in May, CVEPA emailed a Call to Action to our members and friends. The email urged people to contact the Gunnison County Commissioners. An amendment to the County resolution proposed expanding the length of road allowed to Off Highway Vehicles (OHVs) in Marble. (See article on Lead King Loop/ OHV in the Summer 2021 CVEPA Crystal Clear newsletter). The amendment was announced on a Saturday with only several days notice. The issue was not open to public comment and was allotted 5 minutes on the agenda. CVEPA and residents critical of the documented overuse by OHVs have been working with the county and the Marble Town Council for many months to find some relief to this problem. We believed this amendment warranted serious discussion.
Gunnison County cited a barrage of public input received via email over that weekend ! Due to overwhelming citizen requests the County Commissioners opened the amendment to the resolution to public comment and devoted a substantial amount of time to the issue. Our elected officials were clearly impressed with the concern shown by respondents.
During my almost 15 years with CVEPA I don’t ever remember our organization sending such an alert. You, our membership and many other concerned citizens, can take the credit for showing elected officials how important the public process that determines the health, safety and well-being of people and the environment in the Crystal Valley is to us !
Such an alert would not have been possible until recently. Behind the scenes, our information technology specialist, Denny Meredith-Orr, has improved CVEPA’s communication capability and created a website that gains immediate interest. I would encourage all members to share their email addresses with CVEPA. You can now receive the Crystal Clear via email (saving CVEPA about $10 a year per recipient) and also be in the loop if such an emergency call to action is needed. CVEPA will use this tool with the utmost discretion and we will never pass your information on to anyone else.
In recent years CVEPA has worked closely with well-respected Aspen Journalism (AJ). CVEPA and AJ broke the story of the Marble Quarry’s unpermitted burial and relocation of Yule Creek. Investigative reporter Heather Sackett’s exhaustive research and articles on Colorado water, the Marble Quarry and Wild and Scenic Designation informs thousands of citizens in our watershed. Curtis Wackerle has delved deep into the Lead King Loop OHV issue and has also reported on the newest wetlands conservative initiative in Marble. This vital information is free to the public and to local news agencies. It is not without expense. Please consider giving your financial support to Aspen Journalism at aspenjournalism.org now. Don’t forget who supports our community in Carbondale, the Sopris Sun newspaper at soprissun.com and in Redstone and Marble, The Crystal Valley Echo and Marble Times at thecrystalvalleyecho.com We need and rely on each other. Without these dedicated news outlets CVEPA would be operating in a vacuum. Give them your support.
On May 1, CVEPA sent a call to action to its members and friends regarding the sensitive and complex Lead King Loop/Marble Off Highway Vehicle issue.
Your letters to our Gunnison County Commissioners were numerous, powerful and productive! Due to the outpouring of concern for the health, safety and environment of the Upper Crystal River Valley, the commissioners opened the agenda item to public comments and as a result of the concerns expressed, decided to table the resolution until their May 18 meeting.
At that meeting, the commissioners did approve the resolution, but added an expiration date of December 31, 2021. At that time they plan to review and assess the impacts of OHV use in Marble and east of the town limits.
CVEPA considers this commitment to assessing the impacts of the resolution a positive step. It is our belief that the commissioners are working long and hard toward a long term solution of a complex problem.
After a four-year hiatus, residents of the Crystal River valley are reviving efforts to protect the upper portion of the river through a federal designation. The Crystal River Caucus, Pitkin County, the Crystal Valley Environmental Protection Association and others are once again discussing designating the upper 39 miles of the river — from the two branches of its headwaters in the Snowmass-Maroon Bells Wilderness to the first major downstream irrigation diversion, the Sweet Jessup Canal — as Wild & Scenic.
Well-known American artist, Frank Mechau, was a resident of Redstone Colorado. His life in the Crystal Valley helped shape and inspire the unique style and sense of place his work is known for. Frank’s wife, Paula, was a founding member of CVEPA, and his son, Mike, is a board member emeritus. Thanks to a new documentary on PBS, you can learn more about the amazing work and life of this great artist.
Reproductions, note cards and books of Mechau’s work can be purchased at frankmechau.com. The foundation will generously donate 15% of purchases by CVEPA members to our organization.
Beginning in November of 2018, and with no permits, Colorado Stone Quarries diverted approximately 1,600 linear feet of the creek through a constructed channel that flows approximately 1,700 linear feet around the east side of Franklin Ridge. (There is some evidence the Creek had been on that side in geologic time.) After forcing the stream to the east, the creek bed was buried under approximately 97,000 cubic yards of waste rock and other materials to create a new road access to the existing mining operation and to facilitate surface mining of Franklin Ridge itself.