Letter: Shame on Vail Resorts for dragging out Booth Heights litigation
Thanks to the Vail Town Council for seeking permanent protection for East Vail bighorn critical habitat. Bighorns have wintered there since the last glacial recession. State wildlife experts testify that Vail Resorts’ construction would mean the herd’s demise.
I would like for my 10-month-old son to grow up being able to see big game mammals like native elk and bighorn sheep. Yet, with each decade, there’s another significant decline in the Eagle Valley’s ungulate population.
Vail Resorts has publicly pledged to protect critical wildlife habitat. But many of us are aware of Vail Resorts’ imperfect environmental track record, which can’t be ignored — the classic corporation that talks a good game. We know about the recent fish kill in Gore Creek, the unauthorized road construction, tree removal, and wetlands destruction at Keystone. Many don’t know or forget the 2003 Clean Water Act violation for constructing a road to Blue Sky.
Eagle County residents overwhelmingly value wildlife and habitat protection, as established by a recent study by Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Eagle County Wildlife Roundtable, as reported in the May 10 Vail Daily.
It’s baffling as to why Vail Resorts does not want to score this “enviro” win. Shame on Bill Rock and Vail Resorts for not taking the $12 million and using it as a starting point to reinvest in housing on other property they already own where their employees could walk to work.
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The recent dialogue between Beth Howard and Council (Vail Daily on April 6) was encouraging. The local Vail Mountain operating team sometimes still reflects their local roots.
Until Vail Resorts, the corporation decides to avoid dragging out litigation, and proceed to expedite building housing on other available parcels — including several the Ttown has offered over the years — Vail Resorts’ environmental reputation will continue to suffer.