Letter: Wilderness and wildlife need to be considered with Vail Resorts’ East Vail property
Increasingly, we are hearing about the importance of preserving and expanding wilderness areas. Recently, 21,000 acres in Eagle and Summit counties are being considered for wilderness designation. The Outdoor Retailer Trade Show left Utah and is in Denver in protest of Utah’s shrinking of National Monument land. Yvonne Chouinard, owner of Patagonia, has made a stand for wilderness preservation. And, a few days ago, a group of wildlife biologists who met in Vail came to the conclusion that our wildlife numbers are severely depleted due to lost habitat from human encroachment.
Here is where I am going: The bighorn sheep above Vail Mountain School in East Vail are in danger of losing critical winter habitat because a Vail Resorts housing project is planned in this winter habitat. Yesterday, Thursday, Jan. 25, a photo was snapped of the bighorn sheep exactly in the area of planned employee housing, down low by the frontage road. Their tracks can be seen throughout the area of the proposed housing.
I would like to see Vail Resorts do the right thing and change its plans to sell this land to a developer. Work with the town officials, residents and concerned citizens to find a different and better place for employee housing. It is not too late to change course and be the champions of wildlife and preservationists of a beautiful, pristine property.