Vail Daily letter: Collision of values above Vail |

Vail Daily letter: Collision of values above Vail

Andrew Catford
Vail , CO, Colorado

I am glad Mrs. Legro had her day in court and I hope she will make a speedy and complete recovery from the injuries she suffered while participating in a mountain biking event at Camp Hale. She and our district attorney might have saved some of their ire for the sponsor of that event: Vail Recreation District. I’m astonished that body walked away unscathed.

The implicit message of Vail Recreation District and their fellow recreational propagandists to the outside world is that this is an empty land, completely sanitized, totally devoid of hazards — unless you include alcohol at 8,000 feet — and so much better for you than a visit to Orlando. The perfect place to put on the Spandex, enjoy the weather, and feel free to accumulate “experiences,” perhaps made memorable by the occasional bear sighting.

Tragically, Mrs. Legro was attacked by working dogs (admittedly an alien concept in Vail). Sadder still, she appears to have had no warning that such animals exist in the Disneyesque recreational preserve portrayed by VRD and their ilk. So Mrs. Lego seems to have been unaware that some of these guardian dogs will attempt to take down a Jeep, never mind a cyclist.

That negligence reflects the complete disdain and contempt the recreation industry feels for anyone who is misguided enough to make a living from this land. They are old school, their day is gone, they have no place in the recreation-driven future of the West. The notion that they might own dogs trained to protect livestock is, well, downright mediaeval. And anyway, isn’t there plenty of wool in China?

What happens when the wolves return, as surely they will? Absent wholesale poisoning, dog guardians remain the only proven way of protecting range livestock from wolves. Will there be no place for livestock that needs protection outside the petting zoo in the VRD experience park? Will ranching be removed from the acceptable list of livelihoods in the Eagle County best practices manual?

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Andrew Catford


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