Letters Eagle County should fund open-space proposal | VailDaily.com

Letters Eagle County should fund open-space proposal

Compiled by Vail Daily staff
Vail CO, Colorado

Fund Gates Ranch

To the commissioners:

It is my understanding that you will be considering the request for open-space funding for the Gates Ranch easement to the Eagle Valley Land Trust at your meeting on Nov. 13. I am currently out of town and will not be able to attend the meeting in person, but I wanted to express my strong support for this project.

This county contains a treasure trove of undeveloped lands that include historic ranches and undeveloped private property, as well as national forests, Bureau of Land Management property and land owned by other public entities. These open spaces give our county a unique beauty and character, and they all need to be thoughtfully preserved for future generations to the greatest extent possible.

However, the private development of so many new communities, rapidly spreading into areas of the county that were previously not considered for development, creates substantial concern for those of us who live full time in the valley and for others who vacation here. This type of development threatens and could easily destroy so many pristine areas of our county that make living or visiting here such a special experience. A thoughtful balance of development and preservation needs to happen.

For that exact reason, the voters of this county levied a special tax on ourselves to help fund the preservation of open space. The Gates Ranch is a perfect example of how those funds should be used.

Not only will a historic ranch be preserved forever as open space, but under the easement, the county will have the right of first refusal to purchase title to the property if the Gates family and their heirs decide at some point in the future to sell the property. The Gates family will be giving up the development rights to the property, and they will be getting some substantial fraction (but not all) of that value back, but it is truly the county and its residents that are the long-term winners here. This land will forever remain open space, regardless of who owns it.

The Gates family is to be commended for their actions and for their commitment to Eagle County. I thank them and hope that this project serves as an example to others to step up and make commitments to preserve our heritage.

For these and many other reasons, I request your vote in favor of the full funding requested for the Gates Ranch.

Cheryl Foley

Shaw Center can help

I very much enjoyed reading your Nov. 6 article “Showing support after the diagnosis.” Many of us have friends or family members with cancer who we care about very much, but we have never been in such a situation before and don’t know the best way to support them and show our love.

However, I couldn’t help but notice a large omission from the story. The Vail Valley is fortunate to have a fully certified cancer center right here in Edwards, The Shaw Cancer Center. Shaw not only offers first-rate cancer care, but also has numerous support programs for patients and survivors including the “Fit for Life” program, social and nutritional programs.

I was surprised to see that none of the staff from Shaw was interviewed during your story. Their staff sees what cancer patients struggle with every day and would have had valuable input on how best to support loved ones with cancer.

Patrick Hasselbach

Eagle Ranch

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