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Front Page Articles

Rio Grande National Forest Again Sides with Developer in Wolf Creek Access Issue

wolf creek conservation groups

The Rio Grande National Forest Supervisor, Dan Dallas, signed a Final Record of Decision that could result in an easement over our Federal Public Lands to facilitate construction of the massive “Village” at Wolf Creek. This decision circumvents a federal court ruling that invalidated prior approvals for this controversial real estate development. The “Village” at Wolf Creek, located atop Wolf Creek Pass, would house up to 10,000 people in as many as 2,000 housing units.

Read more: Rio Grande National Forest Again Sides with Developer in Wolf Creek Access Issue

Conservation Groups Cheer Court Decision Rejecting Village at Wolf Creek Land Exchange

wolf creek conservation groups

A federal appeals court Tuesday dismissed the latest attempt from the would‐be developers of the Village at Wolf Creek to reinstate a land exchange rejected by a federal judge last year. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver dismissed the developer’s appeal, based on a lack of appellate jurisdiction. The dismissal leaves in place the District Court’s findings, as well as its invalidation of the land exchange. Conservation groups fighting to preserve the critical wildlife corridor and undeveloped character of Wolf Creek Pass cheered the decision, the latest in a long-­‐running series of legal and political setbacks for this massive proposed development. 

Read more: Conservation Groups Cheer Court Decision Rejecting Village at Wolf Creek Land Exchange

2018 Annual Review and upcoming projects for 2019 (intro)

Hello guardians of lands we hold sacred;

If the bombardment of 2018 is any indicator, it’s no wonder that this request has been our first opportunity this year to rally member financial support for the SLV Ecosystem Council. Wow, what a journey it has been...


Click here to read the full article


Click here to download this original letter in PDF format412.25 KBpdf

Update on Wolf Creek


As Interior Secretary Swaggers Through Parks, His Staff Rolls Back Regulations

This is an excerpt from the New York Times. For the full article, go here


WASHINGTON — Ryan Zinke, a former member of the Navy SEALs and lifelong Montana outdoorsman who now heads the Interior Department, loves to compare himself to Theodore Roosevelt, the father of American conservation.


“I’m a Teddy Roosevelt guy!” the interior secretary said in an April announcement that he would commence a review of the boundaries of the nation’s national monuments. “No one loves public lands more than I do.”


But as the secretary hopscotches across millions of acres of Western parks, monuments and wilderness with his Stetson-sporting swagger, a crew of political appointees in Washington has begun rolling back the conservation efforts put in effect over the eight years of the Obama administration. Many of those appointees spent the Obama years working for the oil and gas industry — and they come to the Interior Department with an insider’s knowledge of how its levers work and a wish list of policies from their former employers.


Their work has been swift. Mr. Zinke’s staff on Tuesday filed a legal proposal to rescind the nation’s first safety regulation on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. They are exploring a proposal to loosen safety rules on underwater drilling equipment put in place after the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. They have rolled back an Obama-era order to block coal mining on public lands and delayed carrying out a regulation controlling emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, from oil and gas wells....more here.

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1) Support San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council with every swipe using the Charity Charge World MasterCard, a credit card that lets you earn 1% cash back as a tax deductible donation to a cause you care about – ours!


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3) Creat a Fundraiser. Or Donate. It's easy. If you are on Facebook, you can create a fundraiser for us at My favorite thing is to celebrate a birthday of someone I know who would appreciate donations to a charity or organization in their names rather than gifts. You can also create a fundraiser on Crowdrise,  Alternately, you can click "Donate" on either Facebook or Crowdrise under our name.




4) Sign up for City Market Community Rewards here . It's simple, every time you use your City Market card, we will receive a portion of funds for the Community Rewards program. After you sign in, you will be taken to a page where you enter our name. This needs to be renewed every year for benefits to continue.





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1) Review us on Facebook at or on Great Nonprofits Every review helps our visibility.  Plus, on Great Nonprofits, if we achieve 10 reviews, we receive a badge to display on our webpage or emails. What do you appreciate about our organization? Let us and the public know! 










Tell Congress to Vote No on HR 2936 - Bad Public Lands Bill

July 2017


Please see the following content for updates:


1)  A community summary analysis with detailed concerns regarding the bill here.

2) The Wilderness Society’s memo pre-House mark-up here.

3) A community letter to House Natural Resource Committee here.

4) Earthjustice’s non-branded factsheet (they are happy to have other groups use and share it) here.



June 30, 2017


From our friends at the Southern Rockies Conservation Alliance:


Lots of really bad bills have been introduced into this session of Congress. But HR 2936, the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017, is probably the worst. It is sponsored by Rep Bruce Westerman of AR. Our own Scott Tipton is a co-sponsor, as are six Reps from other states, including 2 Democrats. It would apply to National Forest and BLM lands. It is similar to a bill introduced in the last Congress, but worse.
See this memo by Mike Anderson of The Wilderness Society. Below are some of the lowlights of this horrible bill:
  --allows categorical exclusions (i. e., no EA or EIS) of up to 10,000 acres, and in some cases, 30,000 acres, for a wide variety of management activities, including producing timber.
 --alternatives for some projects would not have to be considered, other than no action and proposed action.
  --allows agencies to self-consult on Endangered Species Act (ESA) and National Historical Preservation Act impacts. In other words, the FS and BLM would not have to consult with the Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, or the State Historical Preservation Officers if the Forest Service or BLM determined that serious impacts from a proposed project or activity were unlikely.
  --reduces protection for roadless areas by allowing logging where permitted under forest plans.
  --reduce protection for wilderness by not requiring the impacts of any activity therein to be disclosed in an EIS.
  --forest plans would not have to be prepared with EISs.
  --the language is confusing, but it appears the bill would not require any ESA consultation for Forest Service or BLM management plans, at least if critical habitat would not be affected. 
  --injunctions and restraining orders against some projects would be prohibited, and lawyers would not be able to recover attorneys' fees for any project prepared under the proposed law.
In short, the bill would cut the heart out of NEPA and ESA, and expedite large projects for just about any forest management activity on national forest and BLM lands.
STATUS:  Unfortunately, the bill passed the House Natural Resource Committee, Subcommittee on Federal Lands this morning on a party-line vote. The Democrats on the committee offered several amendments, but they were all rejected. It is expected to go to the House floor for a vote sometime in July.
Be alert for further updates on this bill. We absolutely must stop it from becoming law.




We did it!! Denver Judge Matsch ruled that federal agencies did not complete the work that must be done to review developmental impacts a large scale ski resort would have on the National Forest at Wolf Creek Pass, and that any future village proposal must include that review. Thank you to Rocky Mountain Wild, the San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council, San Juan Citizens Alliance, and Wilderness Workshop for making this possible! See the press release and court document at the links below.





Bennet Opposes President's Plan on Bears Ears


Member: Agriculture, HELP, and Finance Committees


Wednesday, March 22, 2017


Bennet Opposes President’s Plan On Bears Ears National Monument

Calls on Trump Administration to Meet with Tribal Leadership

Washington, D.C. – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today released the following statement amid reports that the Trump Administration will consider abolishing or significantly reducing the size of the recently created Bears Ears National Monument.


“For years, the tribes and communities in the Four Corners region worked together to protect Bears Ears National Monument for future generations,” Bennet said. “The ancestral lands and cultural sites at Bears Ears are sacred to this region, including to the Ute Mountain Ute and Southern Ute Indian tribes of Colorado, both of whom strongly support this designation. To even contemplate abolishing this new Monument before formally meeting with tribal leadership disrespects those who have had a deep connection with this land for centuries.

“Any executive action to diminish Bears Ears National Monument is an unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Antiquities Act, which has been used to protect areas like Browns Canyons, Chimney Rock, the Great Sand Dunes, and many other iconic sites in Colorado and across the country,” Bennet continued. “Before taking any action, the Trump Administration at the Secretary level should meet with tribal leadership and hear why Bears Ears is worth protecting.”


Under the Antiquities Act, presidents have designated more than 150 National Monuments. According to theCongressional Research Service, “No President has ever abolished or revoked a national monument proclamation, so the existence or scope of any such authority has not been tested in courts.” Several legal analyses have concluded that the Antiquities Act does not authorize the President to repeal National Monument designations.