Letter: Booth Heights is anachronistic and anathema | VailDaily.com

Letter: Booth Heights is anachronistic and anathema

Perhaps we’re just spoiled. We enjoy an inheritance of natural beauty and wildlife in abundance because those who came before have left us National Forests and untrammeled wilderness. We enjoy concerts and playing ball at Ford Park, running the dogs at Stephens Park and the solitude of Katsos Ranch because the Vailites of the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s had the good sense to preserve over 30% of Vail as open space.

It wasn’t easy. Half the people here were going broke because no one had ever heard of Vail, Colorado. Still, in addition to keeping businesses afloat, raising children, building schools, hospitals and churches, and sewing the seeds for the success Vail is today, they managed to resist the temptation to develop every square inch of land available to them and to put rules in place to protect the wildlife because they wanted to live here.

That the Booth Heights development proposal is controversial (Vail Daily, 10/10) misses the point entirely. The issue is not that it’s too big, too ugly or too stupid — it’s all those things. The issue is that it flies in the face of every single thing that made Vail the success it is today, not only as a resort but as a community.

Around the world, communities are trying to replicate what Vail has been doing well for decades, waking up to the importance of integrating and protecting nature in communities. It goes hand in hand with every anthropogenic crisis we currently face from climate change to mass extinction. 

Booth Heights is an anachronism, a relic of a time when profit was the determining factor of all societal good. To build a project that doesn’t fit in with its natural surroundings, its neighborhood and which will consign to oblivion a herd of bighorns that has survived here for thousands of years is not only out of step with what is needed in this time of crises, but anathema to everything Vail has stood for.

Jonathan Staufer


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