Vail Daily letter: Far from pristine
Vail, CO, Colorado
I have lived in the Vail area since 1962, skiing, hunting, hiking, fishing, camping, picnicking, jeeping, and have covered a lot of Eagle County. Spraddle Creek drainage is one area that I know extremely well. Vail Daily, May 15: “Proponents say aerial tour shows the Hidden Gems are pristine and need protection.”
Jonathan Staufer’s letter in the local papers June 15 and June 17, to quote: “What I and a couple thousand other potential voters would like to see is that it remains forever in its current pristine state rather than having gas wells, timber sales and roads all over it. This sort of deliberate and politically motivated misinformation does nothing to further educated discussion of the issue.”
“Pristine state.” You cannot be serious! Pristine defined: “In its original condition; fresh as if new, pure, untouched.”
Spraddle Creek drainage has a substantial heavy logging road that is for the most part parallel to the creek. That road goes all the way to the top of the North Ridge. The wilderness boundary on Bald Mountain is not far away. The upper basin was heavily logged in the 1950s and 1960s. In the 1990s, the U.S. Forest Service had a timber sale that resulted in a large clearcut on the East Ridge (meaning no tree was left standing).
Considering the self-professed criteria of Hidden Gems proponents, to include Spraddle Creek into the wilderness proposal is totally inappropriate and is an example of how other areas are equally misrepresented as eligible for wilderness designation.
Mr. Staufer, Hidden Gems’ use of misinformation is far more egregious than that of Jane Norton.