Saturday, March 3, 2012

The proposed Village at Wolf Creek revisited

March, 2012
The proposed Village at Wolf Creek revisited

Given that the Rio Grande National Forest will be releasing their preliminary draft EIS for the Red McCombs Land Swap Offer in another couple months - and considering people will have a short moment of opportunity when sharing their thoughts will actually matter - an update is called for.


Some history can be found here:
Wolf Creek development tangled with political ties
By Mike Soraghan ~ Denver Post Staff Writer
Washington - Texas billionaire B.J. "Red" McCombs, who wants the U.S. Forest Service to let him build a huge ski village atop a southwestern Colorado pass, lobbied to get the official who oversees the agency appointed, and McCombs and his allies have since met repeatedly with the McCombs and his partner pushed to have Mark Rey, a longtime timber-industry lobbyist, appointed undersecretary of agriculture, overseeing the Forest Service. 
{And so on and so forth.  Check out the article at the above link}
{02/05/2006  - Updated:   06/02/2010}

Thursday, March 4, 2010
The Back Story ~ Village at Wolf Creek 
Village at Wolf Creek Presentation ~
West Davies on YouTube

Ryan Bidwell, Executive Director of Colorado Wild
describes the Village at Wolf Creek history and (the then) current status.

List of unresolved issues, pitfalls and future relentless expense$:

Police protection/mobility/communication
Fire protection/mobility/communication
Emergency Medical Services/mobility/communication
Emergency Clinic/High Altitude Medical Center
Who’s going to be footing the bill$?
~ ~ ~


Electrical ~ infrastructure/access/maintenance
Telephone/IT ~ infrastructure/access/maintenance
Gas/Steam for heating ~ infrastructure/access/maintenance
Water supply and treatment ~ and access/service/maintenance
Sewer lines and treatment ~ and access/service /maintenance
Road maintenance ~ and access/service
Road Snow removal forty feet worth off the roads
Snow removal forty feet worth coming off roofs and piling up in drives and yards

Think about that for a few minutes:
all that annual snow fall getting in the way of maintaining all those systems.  

Who’s going to be paying for all of that?
~ ~ ~ 

Stores and gas station
Keeping them stocked and open during off season
Employee transportation/housing
Who’s going to be footing the bill$?
~ ~ ~

Health issue:
At 10,300 feet elevation Alberta Park’s air has a third less usable oxygen than at sea level.
Telluride Village is at about the limit but it's next to the world class
Institute For Altitude Medicine in Telluride
~ ~ ~

Biosphere Damage:
Sucking water away from it’s current watershed functions
Inevitable destruction and damage to fens and other wetland areas
Inevitable destruction and damage to riparian zones
Inevitable destruction and damage to wilderness habitat
Inevitable destruction and damage to wildlife migration corridors
Inevitable destruction and damage to down stream water quality

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The murky Real Estate Sales prospect...  

Let’s face it:   On a postcard and for a short vacation,
nothing can beat Wolf Creek Ski area and the surrounding mountain meadows and forests.

But would you actually want to live there?  Maximum temps in the 30°s for half the year?  Average snow depth is over 4’ for a third of the year... the year long average is 2’.  Along with incessant high mountain winds.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

What about the new economic realities? 
There is no living to be made up there at 10,300 feet - why would people want to move up there?

Vacation homes? Hmmm?
seems even rich folks are feeling the economic bite.  Besides, money goes where money is - are they really looking for a windy place stranded under five feet of snow?  

Sounds like a fun movie to watch, but not to live in.
. . . call me a skeptic, but it doesn’t make any sense. 

Furthermore, what about that elevation and oxygen deprivation?  

I'm talking about the thin air problem no one ever talks about.  
Alberta Park air contains 2/3rds the usable oxygen of sea-level air.

It is unhealthy for people to go straight from sea-level to ten thousand plus and spending nights up there.   It leads to increased Altitude Sickness incidents along with other cascading health challenges. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I’m sure it was a splendid conception during those halcyon days when Reaganomics convinced everyone there were no limits to greed... er, growth.  But, that was then.  Those wonderful summer pipedreams were fine’n good during our youthful days, but times flowed on and the world changed. 

Sure McCombs can build it, but who's going to spend a fortune buying into it and staying up there full time.
Why bite off such a nightmare?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Mr. McCombs, Excuse me for saying so, but sometimes old dreams simply need to be laid to rest. Please do yourself and everyone else a huge favor and find some way to return your Alberta Park parcel back to the Rio Grande National Forest where it rightful belongs.

Alberta Park is a beautiful gem just as it is. 
In the heart of source waters for the Rio Grande River, Alberta Park is a keystone parcel. It's an extremely productive biological zone that provides countless services which contribute to the health of that entire watershed.  It helps make the Rio Grande River as grand as it is. 

Why the compulsion to bulldoze and demolish that entire irreplaceable biological infrastructure?

The above comes from a "Memes Courier" flier that finished with the following plea:

In a few weeks the RGNF will release its 
preliminary EIS draft for the 
McCombs' Landswap 
and open a short public comment period. 

This is a rare moment when 
your comments matter. 
Become informed, then using your own particular expertise explain to the RGNF 
why the landswap should be rejected 
and why McCombs should be encouraged to 
return that parcel to the public land trust.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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