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Oct 18th Vail Symposium: Land Conservation vs. Development – What Will Be Our Legacy?

by Bergen Tjossem

The conversation discussing conservation versus development is constant…and has been for centuries. The line between “progress” and “preservation” is a fine one, sometimes creating Hatfield and McCoys out of customarily amenable folks. In Eagle County, the discussions are cordial but ongoing and the decisions as to what will be the lasting legacies in our valley are far-reaching.

In this special edition of the Vail Symposium’s Community Conversations, a panel of several community leaders and stakeholders will discuss the considerations involved when balancing the desire for conservation with the need for development in Eagle County. The goals of local land preservation, the policy concerns of county government planners and the challenges of development in our community will all be addressed. How we move forward and what our community looks like in the years to come depends on how we address and balance these competing priorities. Questions and conversations are encouraged, so make plans to join us for this special community conversation.

What: Community Conversations with Jim Daus, Jill Ryan, and Jen Wright, moderated by Rob LeVine. Hosted by the Vail Symposium.

When: October 18th, 2018 6:00 – 7:30pm

Where: The Sebastian – Vail

More Information:


The Panelists:

Jim Daus joined Eagle Valley Land Trust in 2014 as its executive director, bringing with him a strong conservation and real estate background. Actively involved in the community, Jim is a member of the Vail Valley Partnership Economic Advisory Council, the CSU Extension Advisory Council and frequently attends community planning meetings to encourage progressive land conservation techniques. Originally from the Cleveland, Ohio area, but traveling west regularly for outdoor adventures with his family, Jim moved to Colorado in 1992 to follow his passion for the mountains. Jim earned his Bachelor of Arts from Vassar College and an MBA in real estate development and finance from the University of Colorado. After working in commercial real estate brokerage and development for 13 years, he decided his true passion was in protecting and preserving land and began working for Boulder County Parks and Open Space in 2006. During his 8.5 years at Boulder County Parks and Open Space, he completed nearly 100 different open space acquisitions and conservation easements protecting more than 3,500 acres of land.

Jill Hunsaker Ryan is a two-term Eagle County Commissioner.  She is vice chair of the I-70 Coalition, whose mission is to enhance public accessibility and mobility in the I-70 Central Mountain Corridor. She is also vice chair of the Intermountain Transportation Planning Region, which is a collaboration of five mountain counties and CDOT. Commissioner Ryan is also a spokesperson for the Let’s Go, Colorado campaign to increase transportation funding statewide. Ms. Ryan has been a champion for increasing multi-modal modes of transportation such as transit, trails, e-bikes and bike sharing; increasing safety in road infrastructure; and increasing the availability of electronic vehicles and charging stations statewide.

Wherever you look throughout our valley, you are likely to find buildings, development and conservation with Jen Wright‘s fingerprints on it. From Timber Ridge employee housing in Vail to the Edwards Preserve mid-valley to his work with Eagle officials during the planning stages for the Eagle Ranch subdivision south of town, Wright has left an impression on this valley. Jen Wright runs Wright and Co. Development. He joins our program to provide perspective on the challenges of development in Vail and Eagle County.

Rob LeVine is a native Coloradan, having grown up in Littleton. After graduating from Colorado College in 1978, he moved to Vail and immediately started working at the Antlers at the front desk. By 1987, he had worked his way up to General Manager; he retired from that job in 2016. He remains involved with the Antlers as Consultant to the GM and the Board. Rob served four years on the Vail Town Council in the early 90s and has been on a variety of community boards since then including the Bravo! Vail Music Festival, Vail’s Economic Advisory Council and the Vail Valley Partnership. He is a past Board Chairman of the Colorado State Chamber of Commerce (CACI) as well as the Vail Symposium. Like most long-term residents of the Vail Valley, he loves all kinds of recreation, particularly biking, skiing and golf.


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