Letter to the Editor: Ideas for the Squaw redevelopment
November 14, 2013
The redevelopment of the Squaw Valley village represents an unprecedented opportunity to create a sustainable future. This opportunity will be missed should Andy Wirth, et al, follow the standard model of capitalism and continue the alpine neocolonialism that has irreversibly damaged many of North America's mountain economies, watersheds, and people.
However, by embracing the community, Squaw Valley could become the gold standard of modern mountain destinations. As it stands now, the village is often near desolate — no way for a mountain valley and ski area to function economically. To reverse the sad decline and ensure success in a new village, great care must be taken in the planning and building of a new village, care that appears to be lacking in the current proposal.
How can the village be developed in the most positive manner? The greater Lake Tahoe region hosts a vast community of highly talented and skilled people in the trades, business, science and recreation, most of whom would be honored to take part in revitalizing the valley's economy and ecosystem.
Include these people in the planning and construction processes and develop linkages to the community that will encourage future growth of the project and local business. Invest in facilitating transportation from the communities along the Highway 89 corridor. Invest in restoring ecosystem function and resiliency in the Squaw Creek watershed.
Set precedents for the highest standards in transportation, ecological, and economical functionality. These efforts will resonate far beyond the local and regional levels and will draw global attention to Squaw Valley.
The sheer magnificence of Squaw's physical environment and its Olympic heritage should serve as inspirations to make the new village development one that will endure as a testament to human creativity, collaboration, and modern progress towards regional economic and environmental sustainability.
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