Friday, November 3, 2017

What's the Village at Wolf Creek Good For?

The following appears in the November Four Corners Free Press.

The suspense is over, Red McCombs and family have decided to appeal Judge Matsch’s May decision which nullified the 2015 “Village at Wolf Creek/LMJV, landswap agreement with the Rio Grande National Forest/US Dept Agriculture.

There's much to be said, but here I focus on the headline quote from Leavell-McCombs Joint Venture’s attorney William J Leone a top notch legal gunslinger at Norton Rose Fulbright* who assures us:   
“The Leavell-McCombs Joint-Venture believes strongly the project is a good project and the Forest Service did everything it needed to do to study the environmental impacts of that project.”
Good for who?  Good for what?  What good will it be for the Rio Grande National Forest?

What good will it be for the Alberta Park watershed at the source waters of the Rio Grande River?  What good will it be for the wellbeing of this wildlife corridor and its occupants?  What good will it be for tax payers and local governments who are left holding a boondoggle?

What good will it be for the huge complex subsurface hydrology that supports, among other things rare millennia old fens?  Which happen to be excellent for purification and storage of meltwater before it begins its course down the Rio Grand River to awaiting stakeholders.

My gosh think about it, these developers and their lawyer know so little about biology and nature’s hydrology and rivers that they in all innocence proclaim, bulldozing a village of 8,000 into Alberta Park won’t adversely impact the Rio Grande River or the surrounding Subalpine environment, or even the rare Canada lynx. Come on, who’s kidding whom?

They have no conception of Alberta Park as an integral part of the Rio Grande River’s source waters and the area’s wildlife.  LMJV and their various spokesmen over the decades consistently dismiss legitimate concerns with vague assurances and an attitude of ‘trust us, we know what’s best.’ 

What is this Village at Wolf Creek speculation good for Attorney Leone?  

Good for the lawyers earning their keep endlessly litigating like a dog chasing its tail?  Mr. Leone’s grossly biased opinion is: “RGNF did all it needed to do.”

Think about where that’s coming from a moment, the attorney’s world is devoid of objectivity, or concerns with honesty, not his job.  Winning is all he cares about.

Senior Judge Matsch wrote in his May 2017 ruling:  

“What (the National Environmental Policy Act) requires is that before taking any major action a federal agency must stop and take a careful look to determine the environmental impact of that decision, and listen to the public before taking action. The Forest Service failed to do that in the Record of Decision. The duty of this Court is to set it aside.”
His September denial of LMJV request to reconsider clearly stated:  

“The Forest Service cannot abdicate its responsibility to protect the forest by making an attempt at an artful dodge,”
We have an oligarch’s 1980s repeatedly foiled pipe dream.  Now this billionaire is angry and believes Colorado owes him.  Who is there to convince McCombs to accept NO?  Lawyers who spend their lives litigating?  The RGNF bureaucracy where lawyers tell officials to be silent?  Environmental Groups that come across as private clubs?  

What about We The People?  Red McCombs enterprises knows only profits and PR.  Individually we the people are impotent.  But collectively?  Do you love the Wolf Creek area?  Sport a NoPillage at WolfCreek bumper sticker?  Well than, get engaged, get informed, take a pen or computer in hand, plead for the continued integrity of Alberta Park and the Wolf Creek area.

*{My apologizes to Gail Binkly and readers of the Four Corners Free Press, I strive for accuracy, unfortunately I erroneously listed Attorney Leone as belonging to a slightly more prestigious law firm in my printed article and didn't discover my error until it was too late to have it corrected in the FCFP.  I'll redouble my efforts never to repeat such a lapse in double, triple checking.}


  September 2012 (18)

▼  August 2012 (19)

▼  June 2012 (1)

▼  May 2012 (6)

▼  April 2012 (4)

No comments:

Post a Comment