Letter: Ginn: Over-population begins at home
Edwards, CO Colorado
Several weeks ago I wrote to this paper warning of the catastrophic environmental effects human over-population is having on planet Earth.
Let’s frame that observation in terms of life for all of us here in Happy Valley: Though surrounded by millions of acres of open space and wilderness, about 95 percent of the population of Eagle County lives and hangs out within one mile of the centerline of the I-70 corridor; State demographers predict that by 2020 the population of the county will be close to 80,000, reflecting a doubling of the population every decade since 1980; on any given weekend, traffic on I-70 can be backed up for many miles from Denver to the central mountains, and the Colorado Dept. of Transportation predicts that by 2020, I-70 will be at gridlock most any day of the week; two summers ago water from the Eagle River was rationed, and despite this winter of heavy snowfall, climatologists predict that we are in the early stages of a major long-term drought period.
The good folks at the county wish to dump another several hundred dwelling units of affordable housing in the floodplain of the Eagle River in Edwards despite the increasing evidence that county-wide the existing infrastructure of roads, schools and utilities is today inadequate to handle the population (and visitors) already here; and there is evidence of a mounting tax-payer revolt against what many feel are burdensome taxes.
Mr. Ginn from Florida is proposing to build a 1,700 unit development of vacation homes in the wilds above Minturn (who wants to live and play at an elevation of 10,000′ anyway?). The rule of thumb in a resort community like ours is that for every single vacation house built, there will be a corresponding need for 3-5 workers to support that dwelling unit (snow plowers, grass mowers, greenskeepers, maids, ski patrol, repairmen, teachers, nurses, store keepers, etc.). It is likely that most of these workers will have a family to support, so Mr. Ginn’s 1,700-unit development will therefore necessitate the construction of an additional 5,000 to 8,000 dwelling units to house some 20,000 to 32,000 worker bees and their families. Talk about a population explosion and the consequences! Has anyone in authority figured this out?
If I were a voter in Minturn, I would demand a say and would certainly vote “NO!” on Mr. Ginn’s proposal. Showing Mr. Ginn the door would at least be a start in a coordinated endeavor to limit the population of Eagle County to a sustainable level.
These are some of the facts indicating that over-population begins at home. The question remains: Do we have the courage and collective will to do something about it before all that we hold dear is history?
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