Durango Telegraph - Son of the Village: New Wolf Creek plan in works
Son of the Village: New Wolf Creek plan in works

Red McCombs’ Village at Wolf Creek appears to be in hibernation mode, at least for the moment. The controversial development was back-burnered in February when the Rio Grande National Forest officially ended its review. However, opponents of the plan have gotten word that the “Village,” with its thousands of units, multiple hotels and restaurants, and variety of high-altitude impacts, will soon be back in a revised form.

This is not the first time the configuration the Village of Wolf Creek has changed.

Early last fall, the Forest Service began considering a new application from McCombs, but the Village’s configuration mysteriously morphed just after the process opened. Because McCombs failed to submit a revised application to the Forest Service, the agency officially dropped its review of the Village at Wolf Creek.

But the Village is far from dead, according to Ryan Demmy Bidwell, executive director of Colorado Wild. The longstanding opponent of the Village was recently contacted by Clint Jones, a new developer working for McCombs. “He’s allegedly working up a new plan, and we expect to hear something this spring,” Bidwell said.

Bidwell said that he expects Jones and McCombs to reconfigure the Village so that there are fewer impacts on wetlands and the high-altitude flora. The team might also seek a land exchange in order to procure land that is more suited to development. “They seem to understand, finally, that a lot of their current property is not developable,” Bidwell said.

Regardless of what may or may not be proposed, McCombs must travel a long road before breaking ground on the Continental Divide. “They’ve got to go back to ‘go’ no matter what,” Bidwell said. “If they go down the land exchange route, they’ll have to go back much further than ‘go.’”

– Will Sands