Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Save woods at River Run

Regarding Sun Valley Co.'s proposed River Run project, there is a conspiracy by the Idaho Mountain Express to provide zero coverage about the issue of the woods along the bike path in the south zone. The public, Sun Valley Co., P&Z and the Ketchum City Council have all made comments about these woods during public meetings. Yet our local newspaper has not printed one word about the 40 acres of woodland habitat that will be destroyed by this development.

Case in point: In the last council meeting, the environmental consultant hired by the city found that these woods are the largest and most important natural habitat within the Ketchum city limits. This expert concluded that the city of Ketchum would never again have such an opportunity and that the city should do everything within its power to preserve such important habitat. This statement was a scientific evaluation, and as such, astounding news. Unreported.

Creating a Tourist zone in the heart of West Ketchum will have radical effects upon the neighborhood and city as a whole. If the zoning remained "Low Density" or even "High Density Residential," in accord with the current zoning in adjacent West Ketchum neighborhoods, then Sun Valley Co. would be looking at a vastly smaller-scale development project. Given this gigantic zoning concession by the city, it is not too much to ask that the woodland habitat be preserved in this decision-making process. As stated by Ketchum's own environmental consultant, there will never be an opportunity like this again.

It is the responsibility of our elected officials to see value and protect it. It is their responsibility to look to the future, 20 years, 50 years ahead, and save this land not only for future human generations, but also for the species that call it home today.

Maya Burrell


Editor's note: The Express stands by its reporting on the issue. The reporter has focused on aspects of the development that have been given the most attention by city officials.

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