Caroline Schiller: Don’t destroy Peak 6
Wendell Berry wrote, “We have allowed ourselves to believe … a pair of economic lies; that nothing has a value that not assigned to it by the market, and that the economic life of our communities can safely be handed over to the great corporations.” The Forest Service asked for concerns regarding Peak 6 expansion: Peak 6’s worth is not reducible to its market value, and Breckenridge cannot safely be controlled by Vail Resorts.
If Peak 6 is exploited so that no creature wants to live there, what good is its market value? We must not acquiesce to the destruction of land to siphon profit for a company. The Forest Service reports it is acceptable/current habitat for threatened plants and animals. There is value in preservation, backcountry skiing, undeveloped views, and residential areas. Market profit does not reconcile this.
Wendell Berry says corporations cannot safely control communities. Vail Resorts’ last place on the Ski Area Citizen’s Coalition Survey is evidence. The use of public land is not a right or reward, but a responsibility. Vail demonstrated that it is too large, greedy or unskilled to handle such as this. Let us alleviate them of the risk of furthering the scope of their failure. Their proposal’s logic does not suggest safety. Annexing a mountain whenever demand exceeds supply is unsustainable and ridiculous. New terrain attracts tourists, causing congestion. One wonders if Vail Resorts (owner of numerous summer and winter resorts, a hotel chain, SSV retail, 50 percent of SSF, and VRDC) has other plans. Corporations driven by greed are never finished. They will want more wetlands, ancient trees, healthy forests and corridors for endangered species. A company ranking poorly on its relationship with us should not be permitted to garner control. In one of Wendell Berry’s closing statements, “Compromise, hell!”
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