Thursday, August 23, 2012

VWC - Alberta Park Needs Friends. Can you help?

Since the Rio Grande Forest Service seems mandated with being pro-development and turning a blind eye* to the cascading damages the proposed Village at Wolf Creek Speculative Development will inflict on this watershed and quite probably local governments and economy - it's up to citizens to use their one short window of opportunity - which closes at the end of September! - to convince the powers-that-be that this speculative luxury development is out of step with time and reality.

Without your help, this

US Forest Service Photo

Will become this - 

The Durango Telegraph

Except the pretty picture hides all the damage that bulldozing Albert Park will inflict.
(Please note the lower portion of this image is the existing Wolf Creek Ski Area and parking lot)
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For more on the story here are links to the recent news:

The Durango Herald ~ Editorial

Wolf Creek - Colorado
Forest Service should do nothing to aid development of the proposed ‘village’

“It is tempting from time to time to decry the pop-culture obsession with zombies. Except that as anyone familiar with the history of the proposed Village at Wolf Creek would have to acknowledge, such creatures exist. But while the village proposal might be difficult to kill, it should not be encouraged.

For more than 25 years, Texas businessman B.J. “Red” McCombs has been trying to build a resort near Wolf Creek Ski Area. Through time, plans have varied to include anywhere from a few hundred homes to a town with a population of more than 10,000. The largest plan now on the table calls for 1,700 units, while a more moderate scenario envisions 500 units. Even that could more than double visitors to Wolf Creek.

The land swap, called Alternative 2, would exchange more than 204 acres of federal land, adjacent to Highway 160, for almost 178 acres of private land, including wetland and perennial and intermittent stream habitat. The property is more than 288 acres, and not all of the lands are included in the exchange.

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Durango Telegraph

It takes a village
Proposed land swap reopens debate about Village at Wolf Creek
Village or no Village, a new look for Wolf Creek

by Tracy Chamberlin

“Like the flashing lights at the end of intermission, the publication of an environmental study signaled the start of Act II for the Village at Wolf Creek.
On Fri., Aug. 17, the Forest Service published a Draft Environmental Impact Statement outlining specific courses of action for a swath of private property, owned by Texas businessman Red McCombs, tucked within the boundary at the base of Wolf Creek Ski Area.

The 567-page study reviewed three alternatives: a land swap between McCombs and the Forest Service; approval of an access road from Highway 160 to the property; and a course of “no action.”

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Valley Courier

Forest Service seeks comments on Wolf Creek
Posted: Friday, Aug 17th, 2012

MONTE VISTA — “The Rio Grande National Forest (RGNF) is seeking comments on the Village at Wolf Creek Access Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) during a 45-day public comment period upon publication in the Federal Register on Friday, August 17. Valley Courier.

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Summit County Voice

Colorado: Forest Service moves forward with controversial Wolf Creek land trade and development plan
Draft environmental study available for review and comment
By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — “The U.S. Forest Service is looking to forge ahead with a controversial land trade at Wolf Creek Pass. The southwest Colorado swap could enable development of a new 1,500-unit residential village surrounded by national forest lands full of wetlands and critical to lynx and other sensitive species.

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The Denver Post

Forest Service study supports land exchange at Colorado's Wolf Creek
By Jason Blevins

“The U.S. Forest Service gave preliminary support Friday to a proposed land exchange with the developer of the long-pondered Village at Wolf Creek that would eliminate the need for a private road across federal lands.

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Pueblo Chieftain
Saturday, August 18, 2012

Officials prefer land swap
Environmental impact statement also favors option


MONTE VISTA — Officials with the Rio Grande National Forest have pegged a land exchange as their preferred option in granting access to developers of the proposed Village at Wolf Creek.
While that could still change, the draft environmental impact statement issued Friday gave its highest preference to a land swap that would send 178 acres of land owned by the Leavell-McCombs Joint Venture to the Forest Service.

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San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council

Village at Wolf Creek:

News Release--FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—August 17, 2012
Forest Service seeks comments on Village at Wolf Creek Access Project
Monte Vista, Colo., August 16, 2012 –

“The Rio Grande National Forest (RGNF) is seeking comments on the Village at Wolf Creek Access Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) during a 45-day public comment period upon publication in the Federal Register on Friday, August 17.  The analysis was initiated as a result of a land exchange application submitted by Leavell-McCombs Joint Venture (LMJV).

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Rocky Mountain Wild

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Rio Grande National Forest Service DEIS information:

 The Forest Service will hold three open house meetings to provide the public an opportunity to learn more about the analysis and provide comments. The meetings will be held:

·        Creede, Colorado
Tuesday, August 28 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Creede Community Center, Forest Service Road 503, Creede, CO.

·        Pagosa Springs, Colorado
Wednesday, August 29 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Aragon Recreation Center, 451 Hot Springs Boulevard, Pagosa Springs, CO.

·        Del Norte, Colorado
Thursday, August 30 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Rio Grande County Annex, 965 6th Street, Del Norte, CO.
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 Comments should be submitted within 45 days of the publication of the DEIS notice in the Federal Register on August 17.  (That would be by Monday November 1st)
Comments may 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
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Also of interest:
Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980
Table of contents:

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