Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Rejecting the Village At Wolf Creek, list of go-to info and resources

Now that the Rio Grande National Forest and USDA seems to have given LMJV a green light for their grandiose speculative venture, it's time for We The People to take up the slack.

The challenge is to convince the powers-that-be, both political/regulatory and McCombs' LMJV principles, that bulldozing Alberta Park watershed is akin to a crime against present and future Rio Grande River stakeholders  -  and that frankly, it's unacceptable in this day and age of decreasing water availability.

The Alberta Park watershed is in need of concerned citizens who will speak up to defend and explain the wisdom in allowing it to remain the unmolested biologically productive natural resource that it is.

Here are introductions to the three organizations who have steadfastly defended the interests of Alberta Park's biological community, literally a keystone of the Wolf Creek watershed, source waters for the interstate international Rio Grande river.


Don't Pillage Wolf Creek!

Friends of Wolf Creek is a coalition to defend Wolf Creek Pass from a proposed "village" of 10,000 people proposed by Red McCombs

Wolf Creek Pass needs your help to remain the beautiful area that you and thousands of others know and love. Out-of-state developers continue to pursue plans for a "Village" at Wolf Creek, a city of 8,000-10,000 people at the top of the Pass.

This intense development plan in an otherwise undeveloped area entirely surrounded by National Forest would dramatically impact the entire region. Impacts of the proposed development threaten local businesses in nearby Archuleta and Rio Grande Counties, unspoiled backcountry recreation opportunities along the Continental Divide, water supply and water quality for downstream communities, rare and ecologically valuable fen wetlands, and one of the most critical wildlife corridors in the Southern Rocky Mountains.
Current Status

On March 23, 2015 the US Forest Service responded to our Objection on the decision to approve the land exchange at Wolf Creek Pass. The Service largely ignored the issues raised in our Objection, but has sent the decision back to the Forest Supervisor, Dan Dallas, to explain why he didn't follow existing Lynx protections in his decision to approve the land exchange. Once those changes are made the final Record of Decision will be issued, and we we will announce our next steps in this fight to protect Wolf Creek Pass.


San Juan Citizens Alliance
Phone: (970) 259-3583

About The San Juan Citizens Alliance:
In 1986 a group of concerned citizens joined forces, launching the Alliance to protect their families and neighbors from the impacts of unchecked oil and gas development.  Over the years, the organization grew to address a broad array of regional environmental issues, including climate change, coal mines and power plants, rivers, oil and gas development, forest health and lands protections.

The Alliance is currently home to hundreds of members who care passionately about preserving the unique qualities of this region.  They are supported by five full time staff who add decades of technical and strategic expertise to the cause. Below are a few examples of our accomplishments.

Secured La Plata County’s first oil and gas regulations mitigating surface impacts from rapidly proliferating coalbed methane gas production.

Defended Canyon of the Ancients National Monument against seismic exploration, securing important mitigation commitments to protect archeological sites and rare reptiles.

Mobilized more than 70,000 comments against a new proposal for hundreds of coalbed methane wells in the HD Mountains, and secured unanimous resolutions from every local government opposing the drilling.

Defeated the proposed Desert Rock coal-fired power plant on the Navajo Nation in New Mexico.  The air permit was revoked following an appeal by SJCA and partner organizations, confirming EPA’s failure to consider regional impacts of particulate mater, mercury, ozone-forming emissions, and carbon dioxide.

Played a key role in the creation of the Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Act, a locally driven consensus-based bill to establish 38,000 acres of wilderness as well as additional protections for the health of the watershed.

Take Action Today
Democracy thrives when people participate in public processes.  We’re here to help that happen.  Below you will find links that allow you to quickly contribute your voice to important and timely projects.  It takes just a few minutes, but makes a world of difference.  Speak up, speak out, speak now.

San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council
Over a Decade of Dedication to Public Lands

(SLEC has been involved in a wide variety of efforts and produced some impressive results. For their full list be sure to visit their webpage and scroll down.)   

2005, SLVEC and Colorado Wild filed a lawsuit challenging the Rio Grande County Commissioners' decision on accepting the "Village at Wolf Creek" plat design, a proposed development of 2,122 units near the continental divide. District Judge Kuenhold agreed with the claim because there was no year round access to the land.

2006-2012, Colorado Wild and SLVEC challenged the Forest Service EIS decision granting access to "Village at Wolf Creek". In 2008 Supreme Court Justice Kane agreed with these claims, including the Forest Service narrowing the scope of the EIS. Another "Village at Wolf Creek" land exchange is now being proposed and analyzed.

Wolf Creek Village & Ski Expansion

Wolf Creek Pass sits on the Continental Divide within the 
San Juan Mountains of Southern Colorado. 
Its waters drain to the San Juan River and the Pacific Ocean and
to the Rio Grande which flows to the Gulf of Mexico.

A proposal is underway to build a resort complex next to the ski area 
on former public land, see "Village" below.

Wolf Creek Pass is also home to a world class "Ma and Pa" 
family-owned ski area now seeking expansion.

Click on the links below


If you are interested in exploring the many reasons why "developing" Alberta Park promises nothing but destruction, liability and loss, I offer the following background information:


What is "Reasonable Use" of Alberta Park at Wolf Creek, Colorado?

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FENS Resource Category 1 USFWS "Mitigation Policy"




Shared Comment VWC-DEIS 35945 -1.7.1 
Health and Human Safety at a High Altitude Resort
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Shared Comment VWC-DEIS 35945 - 3.4 
Water Rights and Use
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Shared Comment - VWC-DEIS 35945 - 1.10 
The ANILCA act of 1980
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Shared Comment - VWC-DEIA 35945 - 4.7.1 
Direct and Indirect Environmental Consequences
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Shared Comment - VWC-DEIS 35945 - 
Why no Impact Study of the costs of a failed VWC development?
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Rio Grande National Forest: Village at Wolf Creek Access Project

The Rio Grande National Forest is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement to analyze the effects of the proposed Village at Wolf Creek land exchange.

Location Summary
The federal and non-federal parcels to be considered are entirely within Mineral County, Colorado
District: Divide Ranger District

Project Documents
Date Published
  1. Scoping
    1. VWC Final Scoping Notice (PDF 57kb)
    2. Scoping Letter for the Village at Wolf Creek Land Exchange Proposal
    3. Fig1 (PDF 993kb)
    4. Figure showing the current private parcel surrounded by the Rio Grande National Forest
    5. Fig2 (PDF 1007kb)
    6. Figure showing the proposed land exchange Federal and non-Federal parcels
    7. Fig3 (PDF 998kb)
    8. Figure showing potential access location from U.S. Highway 160
    9. 20110419VWCNOI (PDF 53kb)
    10. Notice of Intent to prepare and Environmental Impact Statement for the Village at Wolf Creek Land Exchange Proposal

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