The purpose of the Crystal Valley Environmental Protection Association is the protection and preservation of the natural environment and its scenic resources; enjoyment and protection of wilderness, wildlife, forests, and streams; restoration of the natural environment; maintenance of the integrity of the ecosystems found within and around the Crystal River watershed; promotion of greater knowledge of the environmental resources of the valley; and encouragement of human conduct which will sustain these resources.
CVEPA acts as a watchdog on government and industry, an advocate of environmentally sound practices, and a leader in the environmental movement in the Crystal and Roaring Fork Valleys. Although the primary scope of interest is in the area defined by the watershed of the Crystal River, CVEPA may become involved in environmental issues that extend beyond these boundaries.
Started in 1972 by a group of citizens to fight a major ski resort proposal at Marble bound to cause dire environmental consequences, the Crystal Valley Environmental Protection Association (CVEPA) has worked for decades to protect the unique environment of the Crystal River Valley.
After defeating the efforts of developers to secure Forest Service permits for the proposed Marble ski area, CVEPA mounted a major effort to oppose the West Divide Project whose major feature was the Placita Dam on the Crystal River. A big push had been mounted by a variety of interests during the energy crisis of the '70's to build the dam and divert Crystal River water out of the watershed. This battle did not subside until well into the Carter administration when dam building proposals fell under closer fiscal and environmental scrutiny.
One of the most important recent accomplishments for the valley was the abandonment of long-held water rights for the Placita Dam thanks to the legal action brought by Pitkin County - an action supported with near unanimity of valley residents. In the '70's, CVEPA vigorously advocated the adoption of state legislation to secure minimum stream flows.
Beginning in the 1970's, through the 80's, and into the '90's, CVEPA called attention to the massive pollution of Coal Creek and the Crystal resulting from Mid-Continent Resources' coal mining activities in Coal Basin and persistently, but with mixed results, called upon State and Federal agencies to bring Mid-Continent to institute corrective measures. Although the mines in Coal Basin were shut down in 1991 and substantial reclamation efforts have been done by the State of Colorado, the problems are such that ongoing reclamation will be needed for decades to come. CVEPA remains actively engaged in efforts, such as the Cow Stomp revegetation project, to alleviate the condition of the watershed in Coal Basin.
Go to the Current Projects Overview page to learn about other our current involvement in other issues.
CVEPA is governed by a nine member board of Directors, each serving a three year term.
The current Board membership is:
Crystal Valley Environmental Protection Association
PO Box 921
Carbondale, CO 81623