Letter: Berlaimont Estates road is a path to ruin
The developer of Berlaimont Estates wants to build 19 luxury homes and is asking the U.S. Forest Service to approve a damaging 26-foot-wide paved road across 4.5 miles of public land that currently provides habitat for sensitive and dwindling wildlife.
There has been a huge public backlash against this project. It is very clear that the public does not want this road. There is new information confirming the continued decline of deer and elk populations in the Eagle Valley. A study undertaken by Paul Millhouser shows that we have reached a threshold of habitat fragmentation in the Eagle and Roaring Valley Fork valleys. Wildlife populations have lost some resilience. We have got to proactively protect the habitat we have left, preserve the connections between isolated pieces of habitat and work to restore connections that once existed. Granting the Berlaimont access road through a winter refuge is the last thing we need to do right now.
The governor’s recent executive order’s policy prioritizes the conservation of seasonal habitats and important migration corridors, like the area where Berlaimont wants to pave a new road. Approving this road or even condoning this road contravenes the intent of the executive order and priorities of the current administration.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife has a statutory responsibility to manage all wildlife species in Colorado. The review of the project confirms there will be direct impacts to deer and elk winter range and migration habitats and corridors.
I am requesting the denial of this damaging road.