By Mike Blakeman
Special to The SUN
Near the top of Wolf Creek Pass in southern Colorado, a parcel of private property sits landlocked by federal lands. A new draft record of decision from the Rio Grande National Forest is designed to provide reasonable access to the 288 acre parcel via a new road corridor. The proposed road would be approximately 1,610 feet in length and would be within a 100-foot corridor with a total area of about 3.7 acres.
“This new draft decision provides the access that is legally required for private inholdings” said Forest Supervisor Dan Dallas. “Furthermore, this access option was fully analyzed in 2014, so no new analysis is needed.”
The draft decision is based on Alternative 3, the so called ANILCA alternative, as analyzed in the final environmental impact statement completed for the Village at Wolf Creek Access Project in 2014. The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, a national authority, grants private land owners surrounded by National Forest System lands a right of reasonable access.
“This has been a long, complex project and I encourage folks to learn more about its status and review the new draft decision for themselves,” added Dallas. “It’s also important to know that the land exchange option, as the selected alternative, remains on the table pending resolution of the legal process.”
The draft Record of Decision is now available for public review during a formal 45-day objection period. The objection period will run through Sept. 4. To learn more about the project, read previous comments, or to object, please visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=35945. A final decision is expected in the autumn of 2018.