Letter: Proposal threatens important Grand County asset
I am writing to bring to attention to a requested amendment to the Rural Growth Area (RGA) of the Grand County Master Plan by the developers of Byers Peak Ranch West (Gold Medal Ranch) between County Roads 72 and 73.
The developers purchased the land around St. Louis Creek aware of the parameters of the master plan but now are hoping to be granted an amendment to increase the size of their project. From what I can tell, the current development is to the south of the floodplain of St. Louis Creek. Amendment allowed, it would take the development further west and south, where the stream corridor becomes narrower and the flora becomes denser. Amenities included are trout ponds, private trails, river access and a shooting range. The area is surrounded by heavily used forest.
I am opposed to the amendment being granted for these reasons: Why do we have a master plan if we allow amendments? The area is an important wildlife habitat, contains wetlands necessary for said habitat, and St. Louis Creek is a critical tributary of the Fraser River.
The creek is already stressed and “nearly drained” by other entities. How will there be any fishing if there isn’t any water? It is among the most pristine view corridors in Grand County, and building farther away from ‘urban’ areas, encroaching on forests and habitats, should become a thing of the past.
Climate change is here. St Louis Creek showed temperature exceedences this summer; fires like the Williams Fork will become more common. What worked 10 years ago no longer does; our future depends on what we choose to do today. Developers are not in charge; our elected and volunteer officials are, and they are our representatives. Let’s protect what sets Grand County apart from other mountain communities. The planning commission will host another public meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. For more, go to http://www.co.grand.co.us.
“ There are those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who ask ‘ what happened?’
— Michele Murray-Hedlund, Fraser
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