A biologist hired by public lands advocacy group Wilderness Workshop to analyze wildlife-habitat impacts of a proposed trail from Carbondale to Redstone will present his findings early next month.

A press release from Wilderness Workshop announcing that it had brought on Boulder-based biologist Rick Thompson stated that the third-party review was not antagonistic toward the Pitkin County project.

The county’s open space department has long wanted to build a multi-use trail up the Crystal River Valley as part of a link between Carbondale and Crested Butte, which Gov. John Hickenlooper has identified as one of the top trails priorities in the state.

The trail was initially proposed over a decade ago. As the Crystal Valley contains critical wildlife habitat, its potential impacts have been a point of controversy. The county began moving forward with feasibility studies of different alignments earlier this year.

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