Do we truly value wildlife or just the appearance of being in the wild? (letter)
It’s been the talk of the town this summer (other than drought and wildfires). Eagle County’s wildlife populations are experiencing massive declines.
Deer and elk herds are reduced by half what they were a decade ago. No doubt this is due to the huge increase in human activity in their habitat, be it development or recreation.
The proposed Berlaimont Estates development would be one more blow to our already stressed wildlife. Their website proudly proclaims that the “Berlaimont Estates vision focuses on low-density, limited-impact living that preserves the picturesque environment and pristine natural surroundings of the property.”
This paints a beautifully idealistic veneer over the harsh reality of any development in wildlife habitat.
Those of us who live and work in this valley, especially in the service industry, know just how many vehicles and personnel will be continuously traveling back and forth to these homes: landscapers, housekeepers, property managers, electricians, pool and hot-tub service technicians, roofers, pest-control technicians (because we all know that as soon as these houses are built much of the wildlife on site will become pests to be poisoned, trapped and removed from the properties), the list goes on.
Don’t let these “visions” of some idealistic mountain cabin fool you; the presence of these homes and the roadways leading to and from them will be felt deeply by the local wildlife.
This is where we as a community need to draw a line in the sand if we have any hope of preserving what is left of our cherished wildlife.
Otherwise, we might as well all admit that we value picturesque views and the mere appearance of being in the wild far more than we do the real thing.