Letter: Don’t pave paradise | VailDaily.com

Letter: Don’t pave paradise

“They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” Lyrics by Joni Mitchell in “Big Yellow Taxi.”

I look at the issues of the “commons”  (earth, air, water resources) through the lens of environmental and economic sustainability. The Berlaimont proposal is a plan for a clustered neighborhood of 19 homes accessed by a yet-to-be paved mountain road cutting through the heart of the second-largest deer migration area in the state. Water will have to be hauled in. This does not meet the criteria of a smart, sustainable plan. 

Will the amount of revenues generated by this development in annual property tax assessments sufficiently compensate the people of Eagle County, in light of the inevitable risk of having to come to the rescue of these homeowners in the event of a crisis such as a wildfire? Not even close. Will the revenues compensate for the inevitable detrimental impacts on the habitats of the elk and deer populations? Impossible. Does the location promote sustainability in any meaningful way? Absolutely not. 

“Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got ’till it’s gone?” The U.S. Forest Service should be looking at this development proposal through a broader lens, the lens of the endangered commons. Through this lens, “no action” is the only viable alternative.

Joanne Rock

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