Sunday, September 23, 2012

Shared Comment VWC-DEIS 35945 -1.7.1 Health and Human Safety at a High Altitude Resort


It’s interesting, all this money spent on studying and discussing a land trade clearly meant to facilitate a speculator’s dream of attempting to develop a grand luxury resort at ±10,500’ elevation.

A dream hatched in the go-go 80s, when nothing was too big to grab for.  But, this is the 2010s and our kids will be forced to deal with a much different world than the one we got to know.  I know Republicans love to believe they can ignore what Earth Scientists are learning and what all of us, who are interested, can observe.  But, you members of the EIS team should show the science more respect than you did in the DEIS.

How about weighing the viability of Red McCombs’ 80/90s pipedream?

As a business plan for a luxury village, why set oneself up for financial disaster by ignoring that this “village” will be put where folks breath 70% of the oxygen they would at sea level?  How does that impact the dream's viability?

Here is an example of how the VWC-DEIS resolves such lynchpins to success:
1.7.1 Health and Human Safety at a High Altitude Resort Numerous commenters were concerned about the health and safety of people at a high altitude development.  Individuals are responsible for their own health, and living, working and recreating at high altitude is an individual choice and responsibility.
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On the one hand, I can understand USDA and RGNF wanting to stay away from this touchy issue.  But we have a real health and business issue just the same: Very Thin Air! Yes, it is a personal choice.  But it is also an undeniable medical reality at Alberta Park - reflecting on the chances of this Village at Wolf Creek becoming an economic bust; which brings up the question: why destroy that wetlands area to begin with?
From a sales perspective, how does a speculative development succeed when it already eliminates a major portion of the target demographic from it’s potential buyer base for health reasons? 
Are there plans for building a high altitude medical center as in Telluride?  Who’s paying for it?

Considering the irreparable damage digging and building will inflict on this headwaters of the Rio Grande River Basin it seems irresponsible to ignore factors that so negatively reflect on the prospects for such an ambitious project at ±10,500’.  

Shouldn't these realities cause some hesitation among the powers-that-be in their headlong drive to facilitate this high stakes gamble?

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And what’s the deal with hiding the elevation of the land (10,160’ - 10,880’) deep in the small print.

Seems like some were trying to hide that important factor.

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3.6 Vegetation Resources 3.6.1 Scope of Analysis The Analysis Area for vegetation resources is located east of the Continental Divide in the Rio Grande River Drainage Basin and encompasses the Federal and non-Federal exchange parcels and that portion of the private land parcel not exchanged. The total area is ±504.3 acres and ranges in elevation from approximately 10,160 to 10,880 feet 
Page 3-34   Chapter 3. Affected Environment

Will your FEIS make a point of including that info up front?  A factor that certainly will impact the business viability of a luxury residential village?

This leads to another question:  Why does the USDA-RGNF always accept the speculator/developers interpretation of what's important?  Can we please think this through before facilitating tearing up this important wetlands?  

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How will facilitating the destruction of an integral part of a precious wetlands, you know source waters for the Rio Grande River Basin, help our kids who depend on a healthy Rio Grande River as much as we depend on jobs?  

Why no attempts to get Mr. McCombs to consider returning that parcel back to RGNF or into a nature conservancy?

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