Deal includes farmland, access to the Crown. The land on the Crown includes about 90 acres of critical winter range that could be developed with large homes, according to the county. A wintertime closure of the land is contemplated with its preservation as open space, Will said. The purchase will add to a number of already conserved properties in the midvalley, the county noted in a press release, and protect land visible from many areas of the midvalley, including from the Rio Grande Trail.

BASALT REAL ESTATE — Aspen, CO – Pitkin and Eagle counties and the town of Basalt have secured a $5 million contract to purchase about 145 acres of open space in the midvalley that preserves agricultural land and access to the Crown. The Pitkin County Open Space and Trails Board of Trustees voted Thursday to recommend spending $2 million in county open space funds on the purchase. County commissioners will take up the expenditure on March 14, with potential final approval on March 28. Action by elected officials in Basalt and Eagle County will be required, as well. The Saltonstall property is in Eagle County, upvalley from Rock Bottom Ranch, extending from Hooks Spur Road to the Crown. However, much of the public land accessible through it is within Pitkin County. Also part of the deal is a conservation easement on riparian acreage along the Roaring Fork River on the opposite side of Hooks Spur Road and across the river from Crown Mountain Park in El Jebel.
By Janet Urquhart, Mar. 2, 2012, AT

Link to AT article

Link to ADN article “Pitkin County in the mix to buy midvalley plot in Eagle County”

The land shaded in yellow is the focus of an open space acquisition near Basalt. (Courtesy Pitkin County Open Space and Trails and Aspen Times.)