A shady deal | VailDaily.com

A shady deal

Karen Wood, Gypsum

After reading the article by Alex Miller entitled, “County backs off proposed wildlife rules,” I would like to add a few comments. First of all, I think all voters in Eagle County should be fully aware that this proposal, backed by Arn Menconi and Peter Runyon, does not affect only local ranchers from Burns. After reading the draft for this proposal, which Peter Runyon admitted had some serious flaws, I realized that these two commissioners would like to have all private land in Eagle County under their control. The proposal stated that any new building in the county would have to pass an inspection done by a wildlife official before any permit for building would be issued. In essence, if a person wanted to add a front porch to their already existing dwelling and a bunny rabbit was living on the proposed site of the add-on, the county could cite that as grounds for interfering with wildlife and deny the permit. I realize this is the extreme, but do we really want our commissioners to have that kind of power? The article stated that the “gist of it (the proposal) concerned development on parcels of land larger than 35 acres.” I don’t know if that was just Alex Miller’s misunderstanding of the proposal, or Peter Runyon’s downplaying of what the proposal really entails, but it is much more than that. Even if that were the only point of disagreement, I would ask those two commissioners some serious questions: 1. Why should Eagle County have the right to decide how and to what extent private land is used? If I were to purchase a 35-acre tract of land from a land owner, I would not expect any additional buses, roads, or county services to be provided and, I might add, have not seen evidence of those provisions up to this point. 2. If you don’t want to trample over people’s rights, as Peter mentioned at the meeting, then why would you write such a proposal in the first place? It is my understanding that our constitution gives us the right to do with our private property what we feel is fitting and proper without government intervention. 3. What makes “clustering of development” a viable option to 35 acre ranchettes, as Mr. Runyon seems to suggest?4. Is dotting the “backcountry” with 35 acre ranchettes really worse than tearing up green fields for golf courses and clearing mountainsides for ski areas? 5. Since when does the “backcountry” include farms and ranches owned by private individuals? 6. Why does the Division of Wildlife want nothing to do with the implementation of this proposal and has said you will have to secure a “wildlife specialist” to make recommendations concerning the disturbance of wildlife habitat from the private sector? 7. Have you checked with anyone on the legality of this proposal? FYI My sources tell me that they contacted an individual at the statehouse in Denver who said the legality of your document was on shaky ground at best. The people of Eagle County need to keep a close eye on these two commissioners. Thanks to Tom Stone for making this proposal known to those he felt would be adversely affected by its passage. For the record, Tom Stone realizes the serious consequences of this harmful proposal. Otherwise, two slippery commissioners would already have made a questionable document law in Eagle County.Vail, Colorado

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