By: Tracy Chamberlin, Durango Telegraph
6/1/2017

Rendering of the Village at Wolf Creek

Rendering of the Village at Wolf Creek

On one side of the courtroom sat lawyers for a coalition of conservation and environmental groups, including Rocky Mountain Wild, San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council, Wilderness Workshop and the Durango-based San Juan Citizens Alliance.

On the other side were representatives of the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Leavell-McCombs Joint Venture, the development company behind the proposed Village at Wolf Creek.

As the judge listened to their arguments and asked his questions, those inside the courtroom said they couldn’t tell which way he was leaning.

Although he seemed to understand the plaintiffs’ concerns – like a lack of public input or attention to the environmental impacts of the project – they had been in this fight for more than 30 years and had come to never expect anything.

So, when Judge Richard P. Matsch, a senior judge in the U.S. District Court in Colorado, announced his decision May 17 in a 40-page order, the celebrations began.

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