Delayed but not derailed
Joe Hanel, Durango Herald, February 15, 2014
"… McCombs obtained his property in a 1986 land swap with the Forest Service. Its only access is a dirt road that doubles as a ski trail in the winter.The lack of road access has kept the Village at Wolf Creek stalled for the past decade.
Forest Service officials say they are bound by law to give McCombs access to his land one way or another. A 1980 law called the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act contains a provision that requires owners of inholdings to be given reasonable access to their property. The Forest Service has interpreted that to mean year-round access to accommodate McCombs’ development plans.
The ANILCA controversy colored the legal battles eight years ago, the last time the Forest Service approved road access for the village. Environmental groups won a settlement that overturned the decision and forced McCombs to start the Environmental Impact Statement all over again.
Instead of starting a new EIS, he hired Jones, who proposed a land swap to put the village right off the highway, sidestepping the access road controversy.However, the Forest Service is also examining “ANILCA access” to McCombs’ current land as an alternative to the land swap.(...)
Laws that are inappropriately manipulated deserve to be scrutinized and questioned.
Consider the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980 which, in Alaska resulted in:_____________________________________
- 10 National Parks and Preserves
- 2 National Monuments
- 9 National Wildlife Refuges (Including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, or ANWR)
- 2 National Conservation Areas
ANILCA also expanded a number of other parks that were already in existence. When all was said and done, 104 million acres were put aside for conservation and protection - an area larger than the state of California.
- 25 Wild and Scenic rivers
Here it get's interesting ANILCA created some problems for newly landlocked citizens who already owned parcels within newly designated Gov't land. Then the lawyers got involved and started seeing potential applications everywhere. As lawyers will do they ran with it far and wide.
"The Alaska Lands Act's innovations in the law of access across Federal Lands: You an get there from here." S.P. Quarles, T.R. Lundquist
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An Interim User’s Guide to Accessing Inholdings in National Park System Units in Alaska July 2007
I reject the developer's sanctimonious appeals to "Property Rights" because LMJV acquired that "parcel" in a sneaky shrewd '80s style real estate poker game, fully knowing it was landlocked, rather than having the National Forest created around his preexisting property.
Red won his prize, Alberta Park, but when his real intentions of developing a mega resort "village" became clear Coloradans woke up and have been putting up a fuss ever since.
I ask, what about the Property Rights of Colorado and American citizens?
Alberta Park was gained through backroom dealing and trickery. It's a keystone parcel of Wolf Creek watershed and the Rio Grande National Forest.
Now that we have entered a new chapter that will require many concerned informed citizens to save that watershed from reckless destruction, I offer the following background information for those who might want to get involved.
Mike Soraghan, Denver Post Staff Writer | February 5, 2006
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- VWC Final Scoping Notice (PDF 57kb)
- Scoping Letter for the Village at Wolf Creek Land Exchange Proposal
- Fig1 (PDF 993kb)
- Figure showing the current private parcel surrounded by the Rio Grande National Forest
- Fig2 (PDF 1007kb)
- Figure showing the proposed land exchange Federal and non-Federal parcels
- Fig3 (PDF 998kb)
- Figure showing potential access location from U.S. Highway 160
- 20110419VWCNOI (PDF 53kb)
- Notice of Intent to prepare and Environmental Impact Statement for the Village at Wolf Creek Land Exchange Proposal