Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Quigley and wildlife

The City Council members in Hailey seem to be dismissing the recommendations of our leading wildlife organizations. Fish and Game has submitted in writing and publicly stated that development up Deadman Gulch and beyond the first pond in Quigley Canyon would be detrimental to the wildlife. Planning and Zoning unanimously recommended that development in Deadman Gulch and beyond the irrigation pond should be prohibited because of fire protection and wildlife.

The Wood River Land Trust has submitted written comments to the City Council stating, "The up-canyon's sprawling development footprint, including 68 lots, promotes automobile dependence, isolates its residents from the neighborhood and the rest of the city, and fragments and degrades wildlife habitat and disrupts migration patterns."

Citizens for Smart Growth's main position regarding Quigley is that "development should not extend beyond the first pond in Quigley Gulch and into Deadman Gulch due to its sprawling nature and potential wildlife impacts." The Idaho Conservation League supports P&Z's recommendation to deny development in Deadman Gulch and above the pond. Numerous private citizens have spoken out against it.

The city's comprehensive plan states goals to "enhance, preserve and protect the wildlife population in and around Hailey." However, the developers say they need to develop these sensitive wildlife areas along with the rest of Quigley Canyon, and their voices seem to be the ones that are being heard. I don't understand that. If you want see these wildlife areas protected, please attend the next City Council meeting. Maybe your voice will be the one that makes the difference.

Daralene Finnell


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