Colorado Division of Wildlife Director Tom Remington reiterated the Division's commitment to working with the town of Carbondale and several partners to purchase the Koziel parcel, a popular access point for anglers along the Roaring Fork River that has been leased by the DOW for many years.
Representatives of town of Carbondale and DOW met Friday in Denver to discuss issues around the town's future plans for a kayak water park on the Roaring Fork River adjacent to the Koziel property. After the meeting, Remington emphasized that the Division and the Town intend to close the purchase of the property, which is under contract.
"The worst thing that could happen is that we would miss this opportunity to secure public access on this parcel," Remington said. "The rest is details and we are committed to working those out. This is a priority for us."
DOW officials have previously expressed concerns over the possible impacts to fish and fishery resources from the construction of structures in the river to create waves and other features preferred by whitewater enthusiasts.
Remington said that the town is not ready to move forward immediately with construction of a whitewater park and that the DOW has the town's assurance that it would be able to participate in a future planning effort to ensure that potential impacts to the fishery are addressed before any boating structures are placed in the river.
The town has assembled a package of funding that includes $1 million from a Great Outdoors Colorado Legacy Grant awarded to Pitkin County Open Space and Trails in 2006. Carbondale has committed $450,000 and Garfield County agreed to provide $100,000. DOW has agreed to contribute $950,000 to help facilitate the purchase of the Koziel property, which is comprised of 7.8 acres of riverfront land with a boat ramp and parking area.