Letter: Denying Berlaimont should be a no-brainer | VailDaily.com

Letter: Denying Berlaimont should be a no-brainer

Berlaimont Estates is unreasonable due to the damage it will inflict on public lands and local wildlife. The proposal is the last thing this community needs at the worst time. The Forest Service should deny the developer’s request for such dramatically improved access.

Our family came to this valley in 1965. Mom and Dad raised us outdoors as much as possible, and instilled in us a great appreciation for the natural resources that make this place special.

Our summers were spent hiking to Alpine lakes and fishing for native trout. At an early age, dad introduced us to hunting. We pride ourselves in a full freezer that keeps us provisioned with local meat most of the year.

After college, we moved home because we felt like we grew up in the most magical of places. We traveled to Europe, South America, and Australia, and still we returned home — having found no place better to live, and raise our families.

Over the years many things changed. Deer and elk populations have declined due to pressure from development and recreation. Declining water quality and quantity have degraded local fisheries.

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If we want to protect what we have, we need to start making responsible decisions. We need to protect the habitat we have left, and start making more intelligent decisions about how and where we develop. We do not need 19 new mansions guzzling limited water and county tax dollars to support their needs. Berlaimont has existing access. A new paved road across public land is unnecessary.

Denying Berlaimont Estates should be a no-brainer. Building 19 new mansions in the middle of our forest is unreasonable, especially because developing those homes necessitates destruction of sensitive habitat for declining deer, elk, sage grouse, and further deterioration of cutthroat trout habitat.

Kevin Höchtl


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