“The Saltonstall Ranch purchase represents a key step in preserving Roaring Fork valley floor agricultural lands regardless of county boundaries,” said Howie Mallory, chair of the Pitkin County Open Space and Trails Board, in a county press release. “We are delighted that our partners in this purchase share this long-term ag-lands vision.”…The property has been re-named the Red Ridge Ranch Open Space, for a highly visible ridge on the property.
Five entities closed on a $5 million deal Tuesday to buy the 145-acre Saltonstall parcel in the midvalley for open space purposes.The purchasing parties include Eagle County, which put in $2 million; Pitkin County, which spent $1.86 million; Great Outdoors Colorado, which contributed $600,000; the town of Basalt, which put in $500,000; and the Mid Valley Trails Committee, which contributed $50,000. The land, visible to the southwest from Highway 82 in El Jebel, includes some 90 acres on the lower flank of a land feature called the Crown that is considered critical winter range for elk and mule deer.The property also includes 50 acres of historically irrigated farmland below the Home Supply Ditch, one of the larger and older irrigation ditches in the valley. The deal includes shares in the ditch and senior water rights, according to Dale Will, the director of Pitkin County’s open space program.
By Brent Gardner-Smith. Aspen Journalism, Jan. 29, 2012 ADN
The land shaded in yellow is the open space property that was purchased near Basalt. (Courtesy Pitkin County Open Space and Trails and Aspen Times.)