Letter: Just plain shameful
It is appalling that our Vail Town Council voted to allow Vail Resorts to sell land that is inhabited by Colorado bighorn sheep to a development company for the purpose of building employee housing. Even more appalling is that the deciding vote by the town’s Planning and Environmental Commission for this financially motivated request was made by a commission member who works for Vail Resorts, and therefore had an obvious conflict of interest.
The recent highway death of a bighorn ram may not have been a direct result of this decision, but we can be sure that if construction starts and sheep are displaced, we will see more sheep killed on I-70. Surely there are other options for housing construction that would have a lesser environmental impact than the current location in East Vail.
We are privileged to live in this beautiful valley. Many of us moved to the mountains to be a part of nature — to be surrounded by Vail’s glorious trees, trails, flowers, and wildlife. And yet if this construction takes place, we are placing the value of money over morality, financial gain over the welfare of the plants and animals that live in our forests.
No matter whether a person is a billionaire or works for minimum wage, no matter whether a person is a Republican or a Democrat, no matter how people define themselves in terms of gender — anyone with intelligence and compassion for future generations can see that housing construction on land inhabited by animals such as bighorn sheep is just plain wrong. We cannot take our natural world for granted. If we continue to make greed more important than keeping our wildlife safe, we are throwing away the chance that our great-grandchildren will be able to experience the natural world as we do. And that would be just plain shameful.