A group of nonprofits has filed a 72-page lawsuit alleging that the U.S. Forest Service failed to be transparent and to follow federal environmental law when it approved a land swap with Developer Red McCombs. In May, the Forest Service approved a deal to swap 205 federal acres on Wolf Creek Pass for 177 acres of wetlands also on the pass. The federal acreage is essential for the development of McCombs’s Village at Wolf Creek, which has been on the drawing board for three decades and is slated for 1,700 units and more than 8,000 people. The lawsuit, which was filed by Rocky Mountain Wild, the San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council, the San Juan Citizens Alliance, and the Wilderness Workshop, targets several aspects of the land swap approval by Rio Grande National Forest Supervisor Dan Dallas. It alleges that the Forest Service “privatized federal land and granted access necessary to build a massive resort development without considering or taking the steps necessary to reduce and eliminate impact to the surrounding National Forest System Lands.”
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