This is an e-mail to Tom Stone May 11 on his response to the open space funds:
After attending today’s commissioners’ meeting, I remain baffled at the shallow excuses you use to not vote for the approval of using open space funds for Bair Ranch. At the very least, I find your position contradicts the Open Space Advisory Board’s recommendation. An advisory board set up by the commissioners.
You and the other two commissioners appointed the advisory board to make recommendations on matters concerning open space. Their recommendation to the commissioners was to purchase Bair Ranch. At least 300 people have donated to the Eagle Valley Land Trust for the purchase of Bair Ranch. While not all of these people are from Eagle County, most are. They obviously are for the use of the open space tax dollars on this project.
I have heard several presentations on this subject, which included many experts that highly recommended a conservation easement be put on Bair Ranch. These expert came from various viewpoints – environmental, historical preservation, preservation of open space and recreation – and all agreed this was a “good investment.”
You mentioned what was necessary in order to gain your positive vote, namely that the Eagle County portion be open to non-mechanized use of the land, including the ranch owners. While I’m not wild about the use of snowmobiles and ATVs on the property, I don’t want the whole deal squashed because of this snag.
The open space fund is a growing pot of money. You said you could think of other lands that could be purchased and used. I am sure there are. Over time I hope that Eagle County can acquire them and we can all use them. Now, however, the Bair Ranch proposal is on the table and the open space fund has $2 million that can be used for its preservation.
By the June 1 meeting, I hope that you will listen to your Open Space Advisory Board and the many of us in Eagle County that are for this project. You can assure those who want to walk, ride and otherwise use the land that there will be other opportunities upon which they can have many uses.
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