Letters to the Editor | VailDaily.com

Letters to the Editor

Compiled by Vail Daily staff
Vail CO, Colorado

Wildlife concerns

As a professional wildlife biologist for the past 28 years, I have worked with a number of developers to assess land parcels and create plans that mediate the best interests of both native wildlife and the developer.

I’m aware of the concern of some Eagle residents that the potential growth strategy in Eagle is not as sensitive to the area’s wildlife as they would like.

As the biologist who worked with the owners of the Haymeadow parcel by conducting field surveys and creating a mitigation plan, development of the property with sensitivity to wildlife issues is a constant concern of the owners.

The future Haymeadow development plan has been placed on hold voluntarily by the applicant until completion of the Eagle Area Community Plan Update.

The parcel’s development plan will incorporate direction from the community plan and will be based, in part, on site-specific surveys extending back to 1994, when I began studying wildlife use of this property as part of the larger Eagle Ranch analysis.

To date, Haymeadow’s owners have valued and adopted my findings and recommendations in their site planning.

High value native habitats (sagebrush, juniper woodlands, and riparian corridors/wetlands) would be avoided and incorporated into designated open space.

Residential development would be concentrated in non-native habitat.

We have been working with, and will continue to work with, the Colorado Division of Wildlife and be responsive to their concerns.

We will be implementing a comprehensive wildlife mitigation and enhancement plan that will avoid and minimize wildlife conflicts on and adjacent to the property.

Any development plan will include land dedicated to a wildlife movement corridor, which would connect large blocks of native habitat across the Brush Creek Valley to facilitate wildlife access and continued habitat use.

Non-native habitat within the corridor would be reclaimed with native species to provide wildlife food.

All issues related to the Haymeadow parcel will be part of the public planning process when the development proposal is submitted to the town.

The Haymeadow group has consulted with the Colorado Division of Wildlife and retained other resource experts to address wildlife-related concerns that extend beyond the boundaries of the Haymeadow parcel.

Richard Thompson

Wildlife Biologist

Western Ecosystems, Inc.

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