Help the actually harms |

Help the actually harms

Don Rogers

If selling off Forest Service land for quick cash is generally ill-advised, it’s potentially disastrous for Eagle County.Well, maybe that’s a bit strong. But auctioning off two parcels totaling 320 acres, one to the west of Lake Creek Road and the other above Homestead, would only add to the development possibilities ringing Edwards.The 2,000-acre Scudder-Webster land, the 680-acre Edwards Overlook, and now these pieces loom over the county’s most populous community as prime open space that instead may be built up. The wildlife, scenic and quality-of-life values of this land are worth far more to the county’s residents than the money the Forest Service raises from selling these parcels outright. Surely the agency’s stewards in Washington, D.C., can come up with a better plan than this. Selling up to 400,000 acres of national forest for a relative, and quickly spent, pittance of $800 million is no great help to anyone. Rural schools and road-builders will hardly notice the infusion, while that land will be gone for good.The public land, even parcels nudging private holdings, should not play the cash cow for the federal government.Edwards has quite enough Cordilleras. The foot of Meadow Mountain near Dowd Junction, where the Forest Service proposes to sell land, too, hardly needs a strip mall, condos or wastewater plant at that beautiful location.The economic logic of this idea doesn’t add up for Eagle County, either. The Forest Service wants to bolster development here? Really? It doesn’t sound as if whoever thought this up has actually been here. If the forest is threatened, it’s because of all the development around here. The White River National Forest needs more funding, not to add to its challenges coping with even more development.So, the feds are thinking about selling developable chunks of land to fund what doesn’t need funding, to help our communities in a way that actually would harm them.Thanks a lot.Vail, Colorado

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