Letter: Take a stand against Rincon mine | VailDaily.com

Letter: Take a stand against Rincon mine

I am writing to comment on the proposed Rincon gravel mine project in Dotsero. I would like to express my wholehearted support of the recommendations made by the Eagle County Community Development staff.

This would seem to be yet another case of a developer putting the cart before the horse when making an investment decision based upon the assumption that they could secure exceptions or variances from determined uses as laid out by zoning restrictions and forward-thinking community plans.

It is well established that the area north of I-70 and east of the Colorado River, along the southern flanks of Castle Peak, is both summer — and more critically — winter range for a variety of wildlife, including deer, elk, bighorn sheep, two varieties of grouse, various predators and birds of prey. This area is used by mule deer as part of the second largest migration route in the state as animals seek winter refuge from harsher elevations.

This part of the Colorado River corridor is also home to some of the best fishing available in the state and is a recreational destination for a variety of boaters, hunters, bikers and other outdoor enthusiasts.

Its classic Western Slope vistas of sage and rabbit brush arroyos, stands of piñon and juniper and red rimrock coursing through shale hillsides, offer a stark beauty that calls us to our wilder nature. The river and the land through which it runs is an integral part of what makes our valley so special.

Estimates project enough gravel to be mined from Eagle County’s existing pits to last another 40 years. Do we really need to sacrifice yet more to “feed the beast“ of our region’s unquenchable thirst for development?

The entire concept of a gravel mine in this location flies in the face of everything our planning process is charged with and is antithetical to the spirit of the existing community plan.

I urge the Eagle County Board of Commissioners and the Eagle County Planning Commission to take a stand and deny these exemptions.

Howard Leavitt


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