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No swap

Dear Editor:

Could there be a Village at Wolf Creek? Yes, I think there could be, someday.

My only question is, should there be any day soon?

And why do I ask? I ask because there has been a weird mix of incompetence, uncertainty and obfuscation so far — at least three decades worth. Really, it boils down to the propriety of what has been happening since the original (legislatively orchestrated) land swap some years ago (in the early ’80s), which makes this debate now ongoing. Apparently that original land swap was unstudied by the parties involved (Forest Service, Congressional advocates and developer) and to a crippling degree ill-founded — which has led to the present proposal for another land swap to correct what the Forest Service, Congress and developer were apparently in agreement with, yet,  between them, still unable to anticipate complications.

Did no one understand that irreplaceable wetlands existed and that access issues (including highway on-ramp/off-ramp parameters from the Colorado Department of Transportation) were imminent? Evidently not, which speaks to the inattentiveness that has pervaded this lengthy and painful process.

My mere objection to any but the “no action” alternative now presented is based on no mere emotional protest. My objection is to the support of any alternative that perpetuates the illogic and irrational backtracking of an already ill-conceived plan. And so, I request that no action be the result of this most recent review — no swap. And I implore the developer to sell present holdings on Wolf Creek Pass into a conservancy which would preserve it in perpetuity, as is. Perhaps the Rio Grande Headwaters Trust could be helpful in making the arrangements.

This is not to say that I am objecting to the possibility of a Village at Wolf Creek. I am, however, objecting to the fiasco of the village scenario over the past 30 years, and the additional land swap as presently proposed, and also to the machinations of the current land swap options proposed, which are not solutions at all. Please count me as a “no new options” vote. I believe the conclusions of the original EIS should stand, and the developer should be held accountable to its conclusions. No additional land swap required or necessary. The developer got exactly what he wanted the first time — and very generously so. His miscalculations are his — as any real estate deal goes, the consequences are unpredictable. You win some; you lose some. This time, he loses. One swap is enough.

When does this nonsense end? Now, I hope. 

Wayne Sheldrake

Del Norte, Colo

This story was posted on September 13, 2012.