Paper trail shows agency hid and likely destroyed records related to controversial development proposal in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains
Environmental and community activists opposed to a massive real estate development in southern Colorado say they have new evidence that the U.S. Forest Service tried to cover up how political influence tainted several steps of the approval process for the project.
Controversial swap would enable massive development project at Wolf Creek Pass
The U.S. Forest Service continues to delay the release of records related to a controversial land trade in southwestern Colorado.
Last week, a federal court granted the agency’s request for a 30-day extension to turn over letters, memos and other documents from a long-running review of the Wolf Creek land trade — a swap that would enable a massive resort development in the middle of an important wildlife area.
Watchdog groups say approval for the exchange was tainted by bias and political influence
FRISCO — Watchdog groups are suing the U.S. Forest Service to block a land exchange near Wolf Creek Pass in southwestern Colorado. The swap would enable a huge real estate development near Wolf Creek Ski Area in the midst of important wildlife habitat.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for Colorado, alleges that the approval process was tainted by a lack of transparency and by an incomplete environmental analysis that was unduly influenced by the proponents of the exchange.
Conservation advocates vow all-out battle to halt unwanted backcountry development
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — The U.S. Forest Service will take an extra 30 days to scrutinize a controversial land trade that would open the door for construction of a full-scale resort village near Wolf Creek Pass in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado.
FRISCO — With several new wildfires burning in Colorado and red flag warnings in effect for much of the state, Summit County officials have put a temporary hold on slash burning permits.
“We all have seen the tragic consequences of wildfires yet again in our state, and we want to do everything we can to prevent an out-of-control blaze here in Summit County,” said Lake Dillon Fire Chief Dave Parmley. “This is a worthwhile precaution, especially as we have three teams of firefighters out of the county on the Black Forest fire, as well as two other wildfire leaders assigned to other blazes.”
The Black Forest Fire may be in a mop-up phase, but the Lime Gulch Fire near Conifer and Evergreen is still growing. The Jefferson County fire was initially called the Chair Rock Fire but officials changed the name about about 3:20 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.
The Jefferson County Emergency Blog has been activated to support the Chair Rock Fire, burning in the area of Foxton Road and River Road near Conifer, Colorado.
A level three evacuation (leave now) has been issued for the areas within a three-mile radius of the Foxton Road and River Road intersection. According to the JeffCo emergency blog, 410 phones were called within this evacuation area. Deputies are in the area going door to door to assist with the evacuations. Continue reading “More wildfires burning in Colorado”→
Draft environmental study available for review and comment
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — The U.S. Forest Service is looking to forge ahead with a controversial land trade at Wolf Creek Pass. The southwest Colorado swap could enable development of a new 1,500-unit residential village surrounded by national forest lands full of wetlands and critical to lynx and other sensitive species.
The agency this week released a draft environmental study for the land swap, outlining a preferred alternative that would trade about 204 acres of public land for 178 acres of private land. Read the draft EIS here.
“By design, the land exchange would result in a private land connection to Hwy 160 and, by default, a means to accommodate year-round vehicular access to the private land parcel owned by LMJV (Leavell-McCombs Joint Venture),” the Forest Service wrote in the draft Environmental Impact Statement.
Winter weather advisories posted for Tuesday night through late Wednesday
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — A classic spring storm is rolling across the West, marked by a deep trough of low pressure extending down into the desert Southwest. As an “inside slider,” the low will move east of the Continental Divide and set up a deep, moist northeast flow that could produce significant snowfall on the east slope of the Front Range under upslope conditions.
A winter weather advisory from 12 p.m. Tuesday night to 6 p.m. Wednesday (May 11), with 4 to 8 inches of snow possible above 7,000 feet along the Front Range. The winter weather advisory extends to the higher terrain of Summit County, where the National Weather forecast also calls for the chance of 4 to 8 inches of snow across the higher terrain. A-Basin could pick up some decent snow once the weather system moves east of the area Wednesday and the flow switches around to the north.