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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Occasionally, I try to imagine what Marble Valley would look like today had the ski area developers prevailed. Permits for a schlock alpine village of 25,000 residents were being fast tracked. (In comparison our expansive town of Carbondale has a population of 7,000). Half a century has passed since CVEPA activists and founders galvanized to defeat this greed-fueled and poorly conceived development proposal. My imagination of the development is terrifying but it inspires gratitude and motivation.
What if the West Divide Project actually pursued their conditional water right and built a 301 foot tall dam in the Placita Gap? A CVEPA trustee succeeded in getting them to relinquish those rights after almost 40 years (with the help of Pitkin County).
What if the reclamation of Coal Basin was left half-finished after the State spent the inadequate bond money Mid-Continent Coal Corporation was required to post?
Mission statements – You can tell a lot about a company by its mission statement. Don’t have one? Now might be a good time to create one and post it here. A good mission statement tells you what drives a company to do what it does.
CVEPA trustees influenced and teamed with the State to complete the project.
What if no one questioned CDOT’s continued dumping of landslide debris in Placita Valley which was scheduled to bury upland sage habitat for half a mile along Highway 133? CVEPA alerted the Forest Service, demanded a halt to the dumping and helped the departments find a suitable dump site.
The list goes on and on but the lesson is that if you see something that doesn’t look right, it is because it isn’t! If you don’t speak up who will? In short, what would our valley be today without the commitment of our predecessors who recognized the unique and often fragile beauty of the Crystal Valley and were willing to fight to protect it?
One of CVEPA’s greatest challenges is facing us right now. CVEPA is seeking the next generation of environmentalists. Engagement of the next group of people who are devoted to defending our valley is critical to our future. Succession is a vital component of our mission. The past fifty years has taught us well. Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much!
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.