Latest: A controversial ski resort proposal gets approval

A Colorado land swap with the Forest Service gives developers a green light.

  • An artist’s rendering of the planned development.

    The Village at Wolf Creek

A controversial plan to build a massive resort near a remote ski area in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains got a boost in 2005, when the U.S. Forest Service approved two access roads into the developer’s 288-acre Rio Grande National Forest inholding. Opponents said the agency failed to address the impacts of the “Village at Wolf Creek” on the surrounding communities and high-alpine ecosystem. County commissioners later approved the plans, but the Forest Service agreed to further study the issue (“Developers push ahead with mammoth ski resort,” HCN, 2/7/05).

In May, a land swap needed by the still-controversial resort — which would include 821 condos, 522 townhouses, 138 home lots and several hotels — received final Forest Service approval. The agency gets sensitive streams and wetlands, while the developer acquires land they can use to build a road to the highway. The agency says its hands were tied: The 1980 Alaska National Interest Land Conservation Act requires the feds to give landowners access to private inholdings within national forests.

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