The Denver Post
February 18, 2015

The U.S. Forest Service has extended the objection resolution period until March 19 for a land swap that would connect the proposed Village at Wolf Creek with U.S. 160 on Wolf Creek Pass.

The current 45-day resolution period was set to expire Tuesday.

“Due to the high volume and complexity of the objections, I have made the decision to extend the resolution period an additional 30 days,” deputy regional forester Maribeth Gustafson said in a statement. “This additional time period will allow for a thorough analysis of the objections, enabling me to provide solid guidance to Rio Grande National Forest supervisor Dan Dallas regarding the project’s final environmental impact statement and draft decision.”

In late November, the Rio Grande National Forest released its final environmental impact statement approving a land exchange between landowner B.J. “Red” McCombs and the agency. The exchange gives the Forest Service 177.6 acres of riparian land atop Wolf Creek Pass, and Texas investor McCombs gets 204.4 federal acres, which connects McCombs’ island of private land to the highway.

McCombs, 87, has spent nearly 30 years planning a 1,711-unit, 10,000-person resort village on about 300 acres he acquired in a land swap with the Forest Service in 1986. The proposed village has galvanized opposition from an array of conservationists and environmentalists.

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