Village agreement ensures no impact to land during lawsuit

Last week, conservation organizations, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and Leavell-McCombs Joint Venture (LMJV) signed an agreement that ensures that there will be no impact to two disputed land parcels pending the outcome of a lawsuit filed by the conservation organizations in federal court.

Those parcels, per a USFS record of decision released May 21, are set to be exchanged to allow for year-round access to a portion of land owned by LMJV, with that land slated to become the site of the long-controversial Village at Wolf Creek.

Following the decision, several conservation groups banded together to file a lawsuit in federal court on June 24, with that suit challenging the administrative procedure used to reach the decision to exchange federal property with nonfederal property and alleging “inadequate analysis” under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

The suit was filed jointly by Rocky Mountain Wild, the San Juan Citizens Alliance, San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council and Wilderness Workshop and names four defendants: Rio Grande National Forest (RGNF) Supervisor Dan Dallas, Deputy Regional Forester Maribeth Gustafson, the USFS and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.