Letter: Vail’s environmental future
The town of Vail is moving rapidly toward approval of a large, subsidized employee housing project on the I-70 north frontage road in East Vail, despite the virtually certain loss of open space and bighorn sheep habitat. This would follow the loss of seasonal grazing habitat for a herd of elk pursuant to the “improvements” of the Ford Park ballfields a few years ago.
This is reminiscent of a popular children’s book with a powerful environmental message entitled “The Giving Tree,” by Shel Silverstein, published in 1964. The beautifully illustrated story describes the gradual ruination of a beautiful apple tree which yields, lovingly, to the relentless demands on its gifts of leaves, apples, shade, branches and trunk to make a boy who becomes a man “happy.” The giving tree’s final gift is a stump for the old man to sit upon and rest in his old age.
We should be concerned that the Town of Vail’s relentless pursuit of development at the expense of open space and wildlife habitat — just parts of Vail’s appealing environment — will leave us with stumps to sit and rest on. And, as the story concludes, we’ll be happy, but not really.