Friday, August 24, 2012

Wolf Creek Needs Friends Now!

I received the following Email from
Friends of Wolf Creek this evening.

Please pass it on. Action is needed immediately,
September, 2012 is all the time we have to comment on this
Village at Wolf Creek land swap -
with it's proposed speculative luxury resort village.

Here's the deal sitting on the public land swap block:
177.8 acres of Leavell-McCombs Joint Venture's 
turned nightmare to develop land for...
204.4 acres of Prime Grade "A" US Highway Access -  
{elevation 10,160 to 10,880 feet above sea level}
Rio Grande National Forest, real estate.
Sweet deal if we allow him to swing it.

We only have September to influence the Final Environmental Impact Statement!

Here's our challenge:

Why do you think developing Albert Park should be rejected outright?

Can you explain it in a thoughtful constructive manner?

Do you have a speciality giving you insights into an aspect of this question?

County finances and liabilities,
Real estate appraisal,
Urban planning,

Latitude 37°28’20”N
Longitude 106°47’00”W

Elevation approximately 10,160 to 10,880 feet above sea level.
{Air pressure and available oxygen a touch under 70% of what it is at sea level.}

Can you list thoughtful reasons for why the VWC should not be attempted?

Now is the time to explain it!


Read the DEIS here:
Overview of the DEIS:
The proposed land exchange involves approximately 204 federal acres and 178 non-federal acres within the boundaries of the Rio Grande National Forest. Part of the federal land proposed for exchange would connect the private land to U.S. Highway 160, thus precluding the need for securing access across the national forest.  
There are three alternatives considered:
               --The NO ACTION alternative,
               --the land exchange briefly described below, and
               --The Forest Service building an (Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act)  ANILCA-compliant road over their own property to provide legal access to the inholding.
The Forest Service believes it is not responsible for and cannot directly analyze development on private property, but they do acknowledge that the point of the proposed land exchange is to facilitate some level of residential/commercial development on private land.  Therefore, in order to be able to analyze the indirect impacts, the Forest Service considers three versions of possible development of the so-called “Village at Wolf Creek.”
The range of environmental and social/economic impacts analyzed in the DEIS gives a picture of how broad and far-reaching the effects of a 10,000 or even a 5,000 person city on top of a 10,000 foot mountain pass would be.  The DEIS finds measurable impacts from the Village on
    •    endangered lynx and other wildlife
    •    wetlands
    •    water quality and loss of soil
    •    greenhouse gas emissions
    •    long-term population trends in the surrounding region
    •    public safety and emergency services
    •    local schools

According to ColoradoWild:

Talking Points
    •    a large commercial development on top of Wolf Creek Pass is still a bad idea that doesn’t fit with the character of the local area, even if the Forest Service is required to analyze it
    •    The Forest Service is right to acknowledge that construction of a big commercial development with hotels, condos, and parking garages is the point of the land exchange to begin with
    •    The effects on a critical wildlife corridor—which provides essential linkage for endangered lynx as well as mule deer, elk, and other wildlife—could be serious
    •    Wolf Creek Pass is too important environmentally to be sacrificed to the ambitions of one absentee landowner, whose plan is out of step with the surrounding communities

Your voice is essential!
The Forest Service and elected officials will read a lot into the number of people who show up for the open house meetings and the kinds of questions they are asking about environmental impacts and whether a land exchange like this is in the public interest.  So please do 1) show up for one of the open house meetings if you can, and 2) send a written comment to the Forest Service by
Public Comments are to be emailed to:
Please include “Village at Wolf Creek Access Project DEIS” in the subject line of the e-mail.     

Hardcopy comments should be addressed to:
Village at Wolf Creek Access Project
c/o Tom Malecek, Divide District Ranger
Rio Grande National Forest
13308 West Highway 160
Del Norte, CO  81132
Stay tuned for more information at:
It would also be good to send a copy of your comments to our Congressional delegation - let them know you object to this Land Swap Deal:

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Dear Friends of Alberta Park and Wolf Creek, 
we have this one moment to tell the Rio Grande Forest Service and the US Department of Agriculture's powers-that-be what a destructive boondoggle this luxury Village at 10,500± elevation would be.

But, they'll never listen to you, if you don't contact them!
Here's where to do that, but you need to do it now, September:

Commenting on This Project
The Forest Service values public input. Comments received, including respondents’ names and addresses, will become part of the public record for this proposed action. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered; however, anonymous comments will not provide the agency with the ability to provide you with project updates. The Forest Service wishes to provide you with as many opportunities as possible to learn about our activities.

Official Deadline for comments: 9/30/2012. (or is that Friday the 28th, or Monday the 1st?)

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