Slate River Working Group

Collaborative Conservation

As of 2023, the Land Trust and the Town of Crested Butte have conserved over 1,100 acres throughout the Slate River Valley, and as such large land managers in the area, we have an obligation to uphold the ecological, economic, and recreational benefits of this community resource. As a municipality, the Town of Crested Butte works in the service of health, safety, and well-being of its citizens and  believes that sustainable management of the Slate River, a critical community resource, is important to its long-term vitality.  The close proximity of downtown Crested Butte to a river valley with some of the state’s highest functioning wetlands, a broad range of recreational opportunities, and unmatched scenic quality is very unique and requires ongoing maintenance. Recreational use on the Slate River has recently increased substantially, leading to new concerns about habitat protection, water quality, commercial use, and the protection of private property rights. These issues are compounded by the patchwork of landowners and managers along the Slate River.

To address the challenge of integrating the varied needs and desires of many different users along the Slate, we have developed a multi-stakeholder plan through a collaborative working group called the Slate River Working Group (SRWG). The SRWG is made up of 18 stakeholders who work together to identify and address river-specific management opportunities present in a 10.5-mile reach of the Upper Slate River, from the Oh-Be-Joyful campground to the north, to the Skyland Bridge to the south. SRWG meets regularly to develop and assess a mutually agreed upon, community-driven management that results in sustainable use of the Slate River. 


The Land Trust and Town recognize that there are many interested individuals and organizations.  In order to create a balanced, productive working environment, stakeholders have been chosen who can represent general interest groups and effectively communicate the working group’s progress back to their interest group.

Floating the Slate River

Planning a trip to float the Slate? The Slate River is a wild and special place—the river meanders through public and private property, critical wildlife habitat, high-quality wetlands, and agricultural lands grazed by livestock. That’s a lot of different users of the Slate River!

With your help, we can keep it wild for future generations. Click below to learn the best practices around enjoying the Slate River.

Additional Information

If you have questions, comments or concerns about the Slate River Working Group, please contact Jon Mugglestone at or 970-349-1206.

Thank You for Recreating Responsibly!

Click below to learn special rules and best practices on each Land Trust owned and managed property

Protect What You Love

As pressures on the Gunnison Valley increase, you can be part of the solution.
Leave a legacy of open space protection by donating to the Crested Butte Land Trust today,
and ensure that you and generations to come will continue to enjoy our unique quality of life.


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