Developer Leavell-McCombs Joint Venture plans a massive, in-the-works development project near the Wolf Creek Ski Area and the Rio Grande National Forest in southwestern Colorado. But the project requires land that cuts through the national forest to carve out a road. In May, the company struck a land-swap deal with the Forest Service that has prompted activists to go to court to stop the exchange.
A coalition of environmental activists, including Rocky Mountain Wild, the San Juan Citizens Alliance and the San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council, are celebrating a new agreement struck between the company, the Forest Service and conservationists last week that will halt all construction until the legality of the land exchange is determined in court.
Under the pact, neither the Forest Service nor the developer will alter the land until a decision is made. If the conservationists win, the original ownership will be reestablished, creating a perhaps an insurmountable hurdle for the developer who will have lost a key road it needs to begin construction.