Wildlife group winning support | VailDaily.com

Wildlife group winning support

EAGLE ” When it formed just a few short weeks ago, the Eagle Valley Habitat for Wildlife citizens’ group had two goals ” to gain the support of the Eagle Valley Land Trust and to collect 500 signatures on a petition supporting conservation efforts in the Brush Creek Valley.

The group can now move both items from the “to do” list to the “accomplished” list.

The Land Trust’s board of directors last week voted to work with the wildlife group to explore conservation in the Brush Creek Valley.

Rosie Shearwood, an organizer of wildlife effort, thanked everyone who visited the group’s Web site and signed the on-line petition.

“We made it (the on-line petition) known to the people who love the Brush Creek Valley, and we were blown away,” she said. “It was kind of a pie-in-the-sky goal to have 500 signatures, and we turned around and there they were.”

That support attracted the notice of the land trust board, said Tom Edwards, member of the land trust board.

“When we have 500 people who think it is a project that’s right for the community, we are certainly willing to see what can be done,” Edwards said.

Meanwhile, the wildlife group will continue to try to help shape growth policies currently being revised by the town of Eagle.

“Habitat for wildlife is a critical concern for the citizens of the valley,” said Debbie Comerford, another organizer of the wildlife group.

Shearwood said the group isn’t anti-growth, but rather its members want thoughtful development plans.

“What we really want is smart growth,” she said. “We want to work with all the property owners along Brush Creek, and use all the tools to get to a good resolution for people and wildlife.”

The group has hired wildlife biologist, Jerry Powell, to complete a study of the Brush Creek Valley and with that information, the group will lobby for wildlife-sensitive planning, Shearwood said.

At the same time, staff from the Eagle Valley Land Trust will contact owners in the lower Brush Creek Valley to determine partnership possibilities.

“It’s is a starting point. There’s not been any numbers proposed or suggestions of how we should proceed,” Edwards said.

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