Final Support Needed To Keep Bighorn Sheep Herd In Vail

Here's the brief:

Last year you sent in thousands of letters to get Vail Resorts to reconsider developing land on critical Bighorn Sheep wintering range - it went to court and was decided in favor of keeping the Bighorn in their range.   But the town of Vail must purchase the land.

Now the EAGLE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS & VAIL TOWN COUNCIL must hear from you in support of completing the purchase and to keep the land for the Bighorn Sheep.  

Lastly, we need everyone to give any amount they can to help cover the gap in town and county funding and save the Gore Range Bighorn Sheep.  Donations are matched up to the first $100,000.  This is all ran through the Wild Sheep Foundation - a 501c3 - all donations are 100% tax deductible. 

A little more...

In July 2023, the Eagle County District Court ruling affirmed that a preponderance of evidence exists to support the biological necessity to conserve this parcel for the sheep, giving the Town the right to purchase this 23-acre parcel of crucial winter range. A judge appointed commission recently determined the purchase price at $17.5 million, which ultimately results in total estimated expenses of $20.5 million to purchase this parcel. To demonstrate their unwavering support, the Town of Vail has committed an additional 123-acres of land adjacent to this existing parcel for open space and earmarked $12 million towards the land purchase, the max capacity available through the RETT fund - a fund dedicated to supporting efforts such as this.

To further this effort and align with their mission, Eagle County Open Space Advisory Committee has recommended up to $5 million to support to purchase of the 23 acre parcel. Coupled with the Town’s 123 acres, the full 146 acres will be designated Eagle County Open Space with the ultimate goal of protecting the sheep in perpetuity through the added layer of protection of a conservation easement. An acquisition of this size, for a mere contribution of $5 million is one of - if not THE - lowest cost per acre acquisitions for Eagle County Open Space, making this a huge win for them. This $5 million contribution is not guaranteed, Eagle County Commissioners must first vote to approve the contribution.

This creates an urgent need to publicly raise $3 million by the purchase deadline of October 3, 2023 to cover the gap in town and county funding. This short window creates an immediate call to action for our local community to join the Town of Vail, Eagle County and thousands of local residents to save the Vail Bighorns by making a meaningful and lasting gift that goes directly to saving the sheep. This monumental effort will be marked as an example of one of the greatest sheep conservation efforts of all time and will demonstrate the power of community impact in creating lasting solutions in conservation.This monumental effort will be marked as an example of one of the greatest sheep conservation efforts of all time and will demonstrate the power of community impact in creating lasting solutions in conservation.

Read a bunch more here...

By taking action below you'll be sending your message to the EAGLE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS & VAIL TOWN COUNCIL.  They still need to rule on the use of funding and to hear public support for it.  You can fully edit and send your own, add on to these messages or use what has been provided. 

After you have sent your letter you'll be linked to a donation page to help raise the $3 million still needed to cover the purchase.  $5, $10, $100... anything will help. 

We have a matching $100,000 gift towards all funds raised by Oct. 3, so every dollar donated goes twice as far. We have raised $40,000 so far, putting us 40% of the way to our goal - help us get to $60,000 by October 3rd to take full advantage of this challenge gift.

The Vail Bighorn Initiative has partnered with the Wild Sheep Foundation to ensure all donations are 100% tax-deductible. To support this effort now, click DONATE NOW and choose Vail Bighorn from the fund menu.  

Please Join The Vail Big Horn Initiative To Get More Involved & Support

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