Monday, October 17, 2016

Canada lynx factor in lawsuits over Village at Wolf Creek

On account of the Village at Wolf Creek development once again being engulf in a legal quagmire, (where the process grinds along at a glacial pace), it seems nothing has been happening.  

But, as Gail Binkly, editor of the Four Corners Free Press, reports in their October issue some significant things are happening.  

Since she's done such a clear job of explaining, I asked permission to reprint her article and she said sure.  I've added the highlights.  Not much to add, except for thank you Gail.

Cat fight: 
The threatened Canada lynx is a factor in lawsuits over the Village at Wolf Creek

The future of a seldom-seen feline and the fate of a luxury development on Wolf Creek Pass, seemingly distinct issues, are inextricably entangled.

The status of the shy, snow-loving Canada lynx, listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, influences discussions about the proposed resort, while the final decision about the project – whenever it comes – will certainly impact the animal.

The lynx, a threatened species,
is a factor in discussions about the controversial 
Village at Wolf Creek proposal in Colorado’s southern San Juan Mountains.
photo credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife

A recent court decision has complicated the picture. On Sept. 7, a U.S. District Court in Montana ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had wrongly decided not to include southern Colorado when it designated critical habitat for the rare animal. 

In a lawsuit brought by five environmental nonprofits including WildEarth Guardians, Chief District Judge Dana L. Christensen ordered the service to reconsider its “final rule” regarding lynx habitat, issued two years previously.

Court proceedings are also a big part of the picture regarding the “Village at Wolf Creek,” a Texas billionaire’s proposed development high on the snowy pass, south of U.S. Highway 160.