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Summit County: Forest Service starts new comment period on proposed sale of Dillon work compound

Agency may someday build new facilities along Dillon Dam Road

The White River National Forest is once again taking public comments on a proposal to sell an 11-acre parcel of national forest land near Dillon.

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — The ongoing process of selling an 11-acre parcel of  national forest land in Dillon got a temporary setback a few months ago when a federal court ruling in California required the Forest Service to reset public comment periods on some projects — including the Dillon conveyance.

Forest Service land specialist Kevin Warner said the agency only received a handful of comments during the initial comment period back in February. He emphasized that anyone interested in having standing in the ongoing process needs to comment again in the new comment period, which ends

As a result of the decision, the White River National Forest is once again taking comments on the proposed sale of the Dillon property, which includes warehouse and storage buildings as well as a few residences for long term and seasonal staff and volunteers. Details on the conveyance are online at this Forest Service website.

The Forest Service has also floated the idea of developing new compound on national forest lands on what’s known as the Lake Hill property, along Dillon Dam Road near Heaton Bay campground, but that proposal depends on first selling the Dillon land.

Dillon and Summit County have jointly expressed interest in buying the property and potentially using it for affordable housing in the future.

The move to sell the parcel is part of a forest-wide effort to improve administrative facilities and decrease deferred maintenance costs. The law that authorized such sales specifies that the funds must stay with the forest for upgrading administrative facilities.

Electronic comments should be sent to wrnf_scoping_comments@fs.fed.us. Written comments can be submitted by mail or hand delivered using the following address:

White River National Forest

Kevin Warner, c/o Tom McClure, Acting Director of Physical Resources,

120 Midland Avenue, Suite 140

Glenwood Springs, CO 81601

Comments may also be faxed to (970) 945-9029, attention: Kevin Warner.

All comments must be received by August 11, 2012 in order for the commenter to have standing to appeal the decision to sell these parcels under the National Environmental Policy Act. Questions regarding the proposal may be directed to Kevin Warner at (970) 945-3205.

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