Vail Daily letter: Address the bigger problem |

Vail Daily letter: Address the bigger problem

There is no question that more public education is needed with regard to the use of organic and other environmentally friendly landscaping products and practices throughout the valley. That education must include homeowners and professional landscape maintenance businesses. All those parties need to know where to buy those products and the local retailers of landscape products need to be encouraged to offer those products. The various storm water runoff projects underway will help reduce both sedimentary and chemical pollution of Gore Creek.

However, the (July 19 Vail Daily) article fails to mention that the overwhelmingly dominant contributor to suffocation of the aquatic bugs that the fish need to survive and prosper is I-70 traction sand. It pours down the side of I-70 and into Black Gore Creek from the top to the bottom of Vail Pass and into Gore Creek and causes “cementation” of the rocks in the creek which harbor the bugs the fish feed on. Cementation leads to fewer bugs and fewer fish. And, yes, the traction sand brings with it the mag chloride and some vehicular chemicals from the highway. Take a hike up the south side of I-70 along Black Gore Creek and you will be astounded at the multi-year accumulation of traction sand flowing into the creek. All the focus on East Vail landscaping practices will be of only minor benefit to the health of Gore Creek unless this primary problem is addressed.

Joe McHugh


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