PROTECT BIGHORN WINTER HABITAT
A south‐facing hillside in the east end of the Vail Valley has long served as critical winter habitat for a herd of bighorn sheep that travel there and back into the Eagles Nest Wilderness. Located
near the East Vail Exit off I‐70, the parcel is sometimes called Booth Heights. This vital winter habitat is now being threatened by development by Vail Resorts. The Town of Vail recognized
the importance of the parcel to local wildlife, including the bighorn sheep, and tried for many months in 2020 to negotiate a land exchange with Vail Resorts whereby the Town would give
Vail Resorts a different parcel of land that is much more suited for development in exchange for the East Vail property, which would then be protected by the Town as dedicated open space. ESWA strongly supported this land exchange. In January 2021, Vail Resorts rejected the land exchange proposal and stated that it intends to develop housing on the land. ESWA is working with other local environmental groups to try to persuade Vail Resorts to reverse course. If that is not possible, ESWA will encourage the Town to condemn the property in order to protect this critical bighorn sheep habitat. For more information, see the DETAILS below.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Email and call Vail Resorts and urge them to resume discussions with the Town regarding the land exchange. In your communication, note the importance of the site for the bighorn sheep, as well as Vail Resorts’ own stated policy that it is a good steward of the environment. Email
Vail Resorts at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com ; phone (970) 754‐0005. You can also email the Vail Town Council and urge them to put pressure on Vail Resorts to do the right thing and, if necessary, condemn the property and permanently dedicate the land for use as wildlife habitat. Email the Town Council at firstname.lastname@example.org.