Mountain News: Angry White Man speaks to Rush 

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But whether the Forest Service will draw any different conclusion is the key question. A press conference called by the U.S. Forest Service suggested it won’t.

“Federal law,” said Dan Dallas, supervisor of the Rio Grande National Forest, “requires this agency to provide reasonable access over public land to private property.” The Forest Service, he added, has no jurisdiction over private land.

Colorado Wild has argued that allowing the road accommodates the development, which in turn will have impacts to the Forest Service lands that surround it.

Those lands, aside from the ski area operations, remain largely undeveloped. The development plans of Billy Joe “Red” McCombs and his development front man, Bob Honts, call for more than 2,000 housing units on the property, most in time-share ownership.

The Pitcher family, which has owned the ski area since the 1970s, originally was a partner with McCombs in the real-estate development, but in the late 1990s abandoned their participation. The two have suits and counter-suits against one another.

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