Don’t pave the Berry Creek Road to provide access to Berlaimont development (letter) | VailDaily.com

Don’t pave the Berry Creek Road to provide access to Berlaimont development (letter)

To whom it may concern: I have lived in the valley since 1983, and I have watched as our once-thriving herds of elk and deer, and the habitat they depend on for survival, have shrunk again … and again … and again.

However, I have been heartened that organizations like Eagle County Open Space, Great Outdoors Colorado, The Conservation Fund, the Eagle Valley Land Trust and many others have helped acquire critical wildlife habitats and protect them forever. To no avail, I believe this developer also turned away numerous offers to purchase the land. These have been steps forward to insure our wildlife will still be there for the enjoyment of our children and grandchildren.

Now, however, a great step backwards is being proposed with the Berlaimont subdivision above Edwards. At Berlaimont, a Czech real estate developer from Florida is asking the Forest Service to pave 4.5 miles of road across critical wildlife habitat in the White River National Forest, including paving Berry Creek Road. He wants to build 19 multi-million dollar homes, along with "ancillary" (caretaker?) units. His website says his development will be "sustainable."

How does he define sustainability? Sustainability of the development for human habitat by punching 4.5 miles of pavement plus the development road into what is now mostly for recreational and pristine wildlife habitat? You also don't promote sustainability by opening roads that are closed in winter to protect prime elk and deer winter range. Plus, they don't have sustainability by building multi-million-dollar mansions 2,000 feet above the valley floor.

It's time we woke up to what is happening at Berlaimont. We are being asked to sacrifice our National Forest land so that a developer can make more money. It's time to do things the other way around for a change and put the public and wildlife first. This is reprehensible behavior on the part of the National Forest Service.

Don't pave the Berry Creek Road!

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Mike Allen

Edwards