FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 21, 2015

Contact: Mike Blakeman, 719-852-6212

MONTE VISTA, Colo. – Rio Grande National Forest Supervisor Dan Dallas has approved the proposed land exchange between the United States and Leavell-McCombs Joint Venture (LMJV). The land exchange proposal, which was Alternative 2 in the Village at Wolf Creek Access Project analysis, will provide the opportunity for LMJV to develop year-round access to their property.

“I have signed the final record of decision approving the land exchange between the U.S. Forest Service and Leavell-McCombs Joint Venture,” said Dallas. “I believe this is the best decision to minimize disturbance to public land while meeting the agency’s legal obligation to provide access to the private property.”

Alternative 2 conveys approximately 177 acres of privately held land to the Rio Grande National Forest in exchange for approximately 205 acres of National Forest System land managed by the RGNF. The land exchange creates a private land parcel of approximately 325 acres extending to U.S. Highway 160 and will accommodate year-round vehicular access.

The existing Tranquility Road will be extended east across NFS land to the private land. This road will provide restricted seasonal access between Wolf Creek Ski Area and the private land.

The primary benefits of the land exchange proposal over the previous right of way proposal include relocation of most of the proposed private land development to an area farther away from the ski area and Forest Service acquisition of a net gain of 40 acres of wetlands and more than 8,600 linear feet of perennial stream.

LMJV previously sought a right of way access across RGNF from U.S. Highway 160 to their private land. Since their private land is within the boundaries of the National Forest System, the Forest Service is obligated by federal statute to provide LMJV with such access as the Forest Service determines is adequate to secure reasonable use and enjoyment of their property.

For more information about the Village at Wolf Creek Access Project, visit the Rio Grande National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/riogrande.

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