Vail Daily letter: Open lands comments
January 26, 2017
The town of Vail hosted in December and January public information sessions displaying various aspects of what we call open lands. The sessions made available for review the 1994 31-page, Comprehensive Open Lands Plan. The intent is to review this plan for possible major updates in the spring. Having attended the sessions and studied the plan document, I have the following comments.
• The three sessions were well organized, staffed and attended. Further, it appeared many/most folks provided handwritten feedback to specific questions in three areas before they left. I did note the 1994 plan was prepared after hosting four sessions, running from summer into winter times — picking up our many one-season residents.
• The plan document introduced the notion of "a system of open space uses." This conjures up the concepts of missing links affecting the whole system and synergism. Hence, a system view should help guard against making decisions for a single issue "in a vacuum."
• The comprehensive plan document had only one reference to wildlife: "Gore Creek is an important wildlife corridor." It seems there is a need to highlight wildlife in general — while identifying additional wildlife corridors and characterizing the types of wildlife we see in our community. In my own neighborhood, near Donovan Park Middle and Upper Benches, my wife Nancy (the dawn dog walker) and I see on both benches and the vacant land leading to Gore Creek many wildlife varieties. Over periods of time, we have seen many bird varieties (both feeding and nesting), foxes, deer, elk, moose, bobcats, bear and, yes, once a mountain lion.
These comments are meant to perhaps trigger thoughts from folks who did not attend one of the three sessions — hopefully to share them with the town. Simply contact Community Relations or Community Development at 479-2100 to channel your ideas so they will be heard. It's all part of getting input to the process of reviewing the Comprehensive Open Lands Plan and its eventual effect on maintaining the beauty and enjoyment of life in Vail and surrounding areas.
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