Dear Divide District Ranger, Rio Grande National Forest:

I support the agency’s preferred alternative (Land Exchange) for the Wolf Creek Access Project as the alternative that will provide the most benefits to the public. Specifically, I support the land exchange because it provides the following benefits that are most important to me:


    The public will gain + 40.4 acres of wetlands, which includes + 22.7 acres of fen wetlands, eight springs and + 14,733 linear feet of perennial and intermittent streams. (Draft EIS, pg. 4-75,

    The major source of groundwater for the Central Alberta Park Wetland Complex is from slopes to the west and this recharge area would not be impacted by the project. (Draft EIS, pg. 4-77,

    During the 30-year phase-in period, the Alternative 2 Maximum Density Development Concept would generate a cumulative total of over 8,700 construction full time jobs, or an average of 290 construction jobs in each year. (Draft EIS, pg. 4-205,

    Overall, this development concept would make the area labor market more attractive to workers, creating more employment opportunities for current residents and attracting new workers to the Analysis Area.

    The Land Exchange moves much of the private development farther away from the ski area. (Draft EIS, pg. 1-5, 1.4)

    From a lift and trail capacity perspective, the ski area’s lift and trail network are expected to be able to accommodate the additional visitation related to future development on private lands on the inholding under the Alternative 2 Moderate Density Development Concept. (Draft EIS, pg. 4-151-152,

    The private inholding is completely surrounded by NFS lands managed by the Rio Grande NF. It is inside the WCSA SUP which, according to the 1996 Forest Plan, is within Management Area (MA) 8.22 – Ski Based Resorts. (Draft EIS, pg. 1-14-15, 1.9)

    The setting for MA 8.22 – Ski Based Resorts: Existing and Potential is described in the 1996 Revised Forest Plan as follows:

    • This Prescription is applied to the mountainous area composing the existing Wolf Creek Ski Area, and those lands identified for potential expansion. Associated facilities such as trails, lifts, and lodges are included. This is an area of concentrated use. Visitors can expect to see facilities associated with the ski area. (Draft EIS, pg. 1-15, 1.9)

    The Wolf Creek Ski Area has expressed support for the proposed exchange in contrast to the development plan previously approved by Mineral County.

Thank you for conducting a transparent public process in putting together this draft environmental impact statement on the Village at Wolf Creek land exchange and for considering my comments.