Open Space and Conservation

Open Space and Conservation

I have worked with Colby on various issues that affect the ecology of our area. He has been supportive of our work regarding conservation of American Kestrel. The successes we’ve had in increasing nesting sites has been possible largely because of support from the City. Maintaining and improving habitat is vital to keeping raptor populations healthy. His support of enforcing the ridgeline ordinance has preserved more than 50 acres of excellent habitat for all of us to enjoy. Eagle Mountain is a unique place and we must select leadership that shares our vision of conservation and a long-term vision of maintaining our way of life. “

Shon Reed – Eagle Mountain Resident and Conservationist

Support for the Eagle Mountain Kestrel Project

I have been a supporter of the Eagle Mountain Kestrel Project for a couple years now. Previously, I was approached by the group to attend a Kestrel banding. It was an amazing experience and it is important to me to support the effort of protecting our birds of prey where it doesn’t infringe on property rights.

Going back a year or two ago, the city was in a position to dispose of some land it acquired through failure of a developer. Upon learning of kestrels on the land, as well as the area being a popular outdoor recreation spot, I decided not to vote to dispose of the land, and rather have the city retain it for open space and wildlife preservation. While every situation doesn’t allow the council to preserve land in this way (as we can’t and shouldn’t simply take land from private owners), but this was a great opportunity for the City Council and the City of Eagle Mountain to do its part for conservation efforts.

The Eagle Mountain Kestrel project is always looking for people to help with the project. If you would like to get involved you can join their Facebook page to see what activities the group is currently working on. If you have not previously seen these fierce and majestic birds, please take a look at the projects Kestrel Webcam:


The Kestrel Webcam is sponsored by Safewell Window Well Covers and Mountain View Nursery

“Councilmember Curtis has always been willing to help the Eagle Mountain Kestrel Project, and has been one to fight to limit high density and protect open space in Eagle Mountain while protecting individual property rights. Eagle Mountain has been fortunate to have Mayors and Council Members that are willing to help and support the project by passing initiatives to protect open space and habitat that is ideal for these amazing birds.”
Source: i84005.com “Kestrel Cam Upgrade

Ridgelines

A defining characteristic of Eagle Mountain is our outdoor recreation and focus on both improved and unimproved (natural) open spaces. It is a delicate balance that takes care to maintain.

Let me share an experience. A while back, maybe a year or year-and-a-half ago, Mayor Tom Westmoreland pitched the idea for a Ridgeline Ordinance. He took a lot of time and care in doing so, but it also became an important project for the entire council.

One concern I had during the process was ensuring a balance between preservation and property rights. On one hand, I didn’t want to be involved in “taking” land from developers, but on the other, ridgelines are a beautiful aspect of our community and are largely unbuildable anyway (at least without extreme modification). Through that process, it became apparent that in the initial proposal, we would be taking usable development land that could reasonably be used for development. I wasn’t comfortable with that. The council as a body agree, and we stepped it back to include less land and ensure an appropriate balance of protecting the ridgeline while ensuring landowners would be able to use their land to the fullest extent possible.

Kestrel Photos on this page are provided with permission from Shon Reed, an Eagle Mountain Resident and wildlife conversationalist. Additional photos can be viewed on his Instagram feed: https://www.instagram.com/shon_reed/