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“This mountain town ain’t selling out,” promises Daryl Hannah, one of several celebrities and part-time Telluride, Colo., residents who have joined locals in a grassroots effort to protect the town’s scenic entrance from real estate development. Hannah first visited Telluride in the mid-1970s with her parents and learned to ski on its slopes. She says her dad, a Chicago developer, could have bought and built on hundreds of thousands of acres there but refrained because “he didn’t want to be responsible for undoing the very thing that made (Telluride) so beautiful and special.”
Hannah and fellow actors Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer, plus Richard Holbrooke, former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., are among those who have lent their support to the Sheep Mountain Alliance. The Alliance is opposing the development of hundreds acres along Colorado 145 at the entrance to town. Local voters agreed to condemn the property in a June election, and the Alliance, with the help of Hannah and company, is raising money to buy and preserve the land. While Hannah and her Hollywood friends have declined to be used as poster children for the effort, they have provided strong behind-the-scenes support, according to the Alliance. Hannah wrote a letter to the local newspaper and marched in protest against the development. “At this point,” says the 5-foot-10-inch actress, known for films ranging from Splash to Steel Magnolias, “it’s what keeps us from being like those other ski towns: a mall with a mountain.”