Forest Service accused of “unlawful and piecemeal” review in lawsuit seeking to block village at Wolf Creek

By: Jason Blevins, The Denver Post
September 30, 2016

A group of Southern Colorado conservationist and environmental groups on Friday fired the first volley in a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Forest Service’s approval of road access to a developer who has spent more than 30 years trying to develop a village atop Wolf Creek Pass.

The coalition’s 159-page brief argued the Forest Service’s “unlawful and piecemeal approach to addressing the impacts of the proposed village” failed to follow federal environmental guidelines when the agency approved a land exchange with Texas businessman B.J. “Red” McCombs that allowed access to an island of private land where McCombs has planned a mountaintop resort of more than 1,700 homes.

Rocky Mountain Wild, the San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council, the San Juan Citizens Alliance and Wilderness Workshop have battled for decades to block McCombs. The Forest Service rejected McCombs’ plan in the late 1980s but McCombs persisted. Opponents who consider the proposed Village at Wolf Creek one of southern Colorado’s greatest environmental threats, successfully sued to overturn a 2006 Environmental Impact Statement review and sued in U.S. District Court to overturn a third environmental review in 2015. McCombs agreed to delay construction while that lawsuit wound through federal court.

Read more at The Denver Post.

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