We are not opposed to a campground in Hailey. We are, however, opposed to the process that the Hailey City Council fast-tracked it in already rapidly growing Croy Canyon. Fire danger/traffic increase/safety issues/trash/waste removal/noise/light pollution/toxic snowmelt from adjacent snow removal/flooding issues/interruption of wildlife natural habitat. The city projects an increase of 1,000 visitors to the canyon a week! Timing for construction as soon as summer 2021 and the grant request seems nearly approved.

The public was given three days’ notice of a vote at a council meeting and Mayor Burke opened discussion with nearly 70 people present and admitted to reluctantly moving the vote forward due to overwhelming feedback her office had with calls, emails/letters-most in opposition following the Jan. 13 Express story. A council member stated that he felt “attacked” by the public, implying Croy Canyon residents were on a personal agenda. Not true. At a split vote, Mayor Burke was clearly bullied into not following her moral compass, instead listening to ego and reckless decision-making as two of her fellow council members saw reasoning to explore/develop this idea further.

We are all part of the Wood River Valley community, not Croy, Hailey, Bellevue, East Fork, Ketchum, Sun Valley, etc. We live/work/recreate in the same great outdoors collectively. To say the residents of Croy Canyon and residents/business owners of the city of Hailey will be pitted against each other created unnecessary division. From her “heart being broken” she still voted to defy the public concern, taking sides for a project that may have been developed with good intent but still needs a lot of work.

We hope the Blaine County commissioners and Wood River Land Trust will listen/respond with open mind/feasibility studies that bring deeper understanding/resolve and ultimately move this campground to an alternative site in Hailey.

Therese Magner and Terry Rich, Hailey

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