Letter: It’s up to the county to stop Berlaimont
To the Eagle County Commissioners: You previously filed comments with the U.S. Forest Service on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Berlaimont Estates project. At that time, you indicated that Eagle County never condoned the proposed development as a reasonable use. Thank you for that.
Unfortunately, the U.S. Forest Service just issued a draft decision to grant improved access to the proposed subdivision. I urge you to continue to stand up for the interests of our community by filing a strongly worded formal objection to this decision. As you have said, reasonable access exists, and the development will have unacceptable impacts on wildlife and public lands that are critical to sustaining the environment that we all cherish.
At a time when our deer and elk populations are in steep decline, approval of this road will facilitate development of a new subdivision and lead to the degradation of some of the most important winter wildlife habitat left in our county. The area is currently closed to cars and trucks during winter months to protect deer and elk. The proposed development will result in hundreds of vehicle trips per day through this winter refuge every winter, all winter long.
We cannot continue to destroy winter wildlife habitat and expect local wildlife populations to persist. The availability of quality winter habitat is the difference between life and death for deer and elk. We must protect what is left.
Furthermore, our exceptional environment is why so many chose to make a home in the county and of course to visit and support our leisure-driven economy — with all the jobs that brings. Continued degradation of our environment risks adversely impacting all of us humans here too, if it undermines the very things that make our valley so special.
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