People and animals will get new park |

People and animals will get new park

Nikki Katz

EDWARDS A few summers ago, an elderly elk was separated from her herd and spent most of the winter among the Homestead houses.She was pretty much indifferent to humans, said Adam Lueck of Homestead. Everyone in this area was very respectful of her. People in this area in particular are very aware of whats out there.Lueck is a supporter of the Eagle River Preserve, an Eagle County project to turn 72 acres of land between the quarry and the Eagle River in Edwards into open green space for people and wildlife.With opportunities like the Eagle River Preserve you have the chance to have things like nature hikes, Lueck said. Its educating people to have a healthy amount of respect for wildlife.The Vail Valley Foundation, which led the effort to raise the $12 million to purchase the land Eagle County contributed $6 million wants to make the area look the way it did before ranchers and miners used it.Its all about looking at where the valley has been, potentially where its going, and wanting to preserve a piece of it that could represent the beauty of this valley, said John Dakin of the Vail Valley Foundation.The area will likely attract birds, deer and elk but will also be accessible to people with paths and restrooms. The Vail Valley Foundation also wants to make a series of ponds connecting to the Eagle River. B&B Excavating plans on contributing a one–acre pond to the preserve. Under a federal contract, B&B Excavating must restore some of the land it has disturbed in mining activity unless its privately owned. So if a developer purchased the land instead of the county, it would have a very different fate, Lueck said.To me it was about taking a piece of land and keeping it as open space for an indefinite period of time versus allowing it to be paved over to every square inch, Lueck said. Open land is a scarce resource. We want to hold on to those resources as best we can. There are too many people who want to develop it.The preserve should be completed next year. Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado

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