Monday, December 7, 2015

Petitioning Chief, USDA Forest Service Tom Tidwell

Wolf Creek Pass in southwestern Colorado forms the pristine headwaters of the Rio Grande and San Juan Rivers. Bridging the South San Juan and Weminuche Wilderness Areas, the pass is beloved for stunning vistas and ample opportunities for backcountry recreation along the Continental Divide. 

It is also one of the most biologically-important areas in the Southern Rockies, providing habitat and migration pathways for elk, deer, black bear and the threatened Canada lynx. In fact, Wolf Creek Pass hosts some of the best remaining, critical and high-functioning lynx habitat in the state.

Recently, the U.S. Forest Service approved a land exchange with a private developer, which will set the stage for a large scale development – 8,000 year round residents in over 1,700 units -- in some of the most important wildlife habitat in the heart of West.

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, one of the most critical wildlife corridors in the Southern Rocky Mountains, and the scenic beauty of our Colorado wild spaces.

Please tell USDA Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell to stop the destruction of Wolf Creek Pass, an irreplaceable Colorado treasure.

Help Save Albert Park RGNF From Destruction

I received the following today and thought I'd pass it along:

We can win, but we need your help!

Friends of Wolf Creek
Dec 7, 2015 — In October, we won a major victory when the courts ruled that the US Forest Service had withheld thousands of pages of documents from public scrutiny related to a controversial land exchange on the pass. This ruling forces the Service to fully disclose documents pertaining to this decision.

While this was a great victory, we still have a lot of work to do. Over the next few months, we will be facing off against attorneys for the Forest Service and Red McCombs. If we prevail, the "village" will be stopped in its tracks while the Forest Service is forced to conduct a thorough and transparent study of the environmental impacts of the development. We know that a real study of these impacts will give us the ammunition we need to stop this development forever.