Fryingpan Economic Study Kicks Off

March 26, 2014 (Basalt, Colo.) – Surveying for the Fryingpan Valley Economic Study is underway and will continue into 2015­. Roaring Fork Conservancy (RFC) is conducting this study to understand visitor use and spending related to recreational activities on the Lower Fryingpan River and Ruedi Reservoir. Understanding the rivers economic importance to the local economy will aid in the overall view of the importance of keeping the river healthy. 

Funding to conduct the study has been obtained by RFC to partner with Colorado State University (CSU) and Colorado Mountain College. The Town of Basalt, Eagle County, Aspen Ski Company Environment Foundation and numerous private donors have contributed funding. Additionally, the Pitkin County Healthy Rivers and Stream Board made a recommendation to their Board of County Commissioners to fund the study. 

This new study will echo the work done more than a decade ago by RFC. Based on the previous study, the Fryingpan Valley's recreation activities contributed an estimated $1.8 million annually in total economic output to Basalt's economy. Current numbers are expected to be greater.

RFC has contracted with CSU to update the previous study. Dr. John Loomis, Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Dr. Martin Sheilds, Professor of Economics, Rebecca Hill, Research Economist, and Gen Ponce-Pore, Assistant Director, Office of Community and Economic Development are all working on the study. RFC has employed Colorado Mountain College student, Christina Briseno, to survey anglers and recreationalists.  She will be assisted by recent CU graduate, Kristjan Danis this summer.

“The results of this Fryingpan Economic Study will be a critical component to the Comprehensive Lower Fryingpan River Assessment where we will gain a better understanding of the users of the Fryingpan River and Ruedi Reservoir, their priorities, and influences on local economy,” said RFC executive director, Rick Lofaro. Results from the Comprehensive Assessment will be published in 2015. For updates on the study visit:

About Roaring Fork Conservancy:

Roaring Fork Conservancy is the premier watershed conservation organization in the Roaring Fork Valley. Since 1996, it has built consensus on complex water issues by bridging the gaps between hard science, local and regional land use and energy policies, recreational interests, the requirements of a rural agricultural community, and the varied interests of both full and part-time residents in the Roaring Fork Valley. It served as the lead consultant on the Roaring Fork Watershed Plan. Learn more at or by calling 970-927-1290. Please visit us on Facebook.