Targets: The U.S. Forest Service and Eagle County Commissioners
Ways to take action and get involved today:
• Sign the citizens’ petition opposed to Berlaimont (which has more than 4,000 signatures) – SIGN THE PETITION HERE
• Contact the Eagle County Commissioners and encourage them to call the Forest Service to share their constituents’ opposition to the Berlaimont project: 970-328-8605 | email@example.com
• Contact the Forest Service and ask them to prioritize wildlife over speculative development: Aaron Mayville, District Ranger | firstname.lastname@example.org | 970-827-5150 CLICK HERE FOR TALKING POINTS
• Contact CO Dept. of Natural Resources and CO Parks and Wildlife and ask them to weigh-in with comments to the Forest Service: Dan Gibbs, DNR, Executive Director | email@example.com | 303-866-2211 | JT Romatsky, Northwest Regional Wildlife Mgr., CPW | firstname.lastname@example.org | (970) 255-6100
• Write a letter to the editor: submit to email@example.com | 500-word limit
CLICK HERE TO VIEW ALL PRESS AND OPINION COVERAGE TO DATE
• Organize concerned citizens to meet with the Forest Service and local elected officials, solicit letters of opposition from local HOAs, host future public forums, lead educational hikes along Berry Creek, and coordinate or contribute to a Facebook page dedicated to protecting sensitive wildlife habitat and opposing the damaging Berlaimont proposal: if interested, please contact Alicia Zeringue or Peter Hart (970- 963-3977, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com)
• Help educate, inform and organize your friends via Facebook, Twitter and other social media
About the Issue
The Berlaimont Estates project proposes a new paved road, 26-feet in width across 4.2 miles of National Forest in the heart of some of Eagle County’s best remaining wildlife habitat. The road would access a 680-acre, private inholding deep inside the forest, zigzagging through prime deer and elk winter range, in order to create a new luxury subdivision, 2,000 feet above the community of Edwards.
If the paved road is approved, our fragile deer and elk herds will lose habitat they rely upon for survival during the coldest months of the year—a period when these animals survive on starvation rations and every calorie counts. What is now a sanctuary for wintering wildlife will be bisected by a new road and more than 200 vehicle trips per day to service the proposed subdivision. Resident deer and elk populations have been in dramatic decline for years now, largely due to land use decisions people have made resulting in development of important habitat, and this project will add to the decline by fragmenting one of the last best swaths of winter habitat. The project will also impact several rare plant species in the area, and precious water resources in the Eagle River Valley.
The local community has expressed widespread opposition to the project, having submitted more than 700 comments during the Forest Service’s comment period for the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in February 2018, with 95% of comments opposed to the project. Additionally, more than 3,900 petition signatures have been collected in opposition to date, and more than 200 locals, including State Senator and Representative Kerry Donovan and Dylan Roberts attended an opposition rally in March 2019. Dozens of letters to the editor and op-eds speaking out against this unreasonable proposal continue flow to the local press almost weekly. Importantly, the overwhelming public backlash against this project inspired letters of opposition to the Forest Service from state elected officials Donovan and Roberts and Senator Michael Bennet, Congressman Joe Neguse and Governor Jared Polis, as well as Dan Gibbs, director of the State Dept. of Natural Resources.
The landowner claims that the USFS is obligated to provide improved access. However, the Berlaimont parcel already has adequate access via an existing dirt road—the same access that existed when the current owner purchased the parcel—and the Forest Service has no obligation to provide expanded or paved access.
The Forest Service will issue its final decision on the proposed new access road late this fall. Please help us keep public pressure on the Forest Service to make the right decision. Take action today!