A Wolf Creek Update: Building our case

So, you probably know we’re suing the Forest Service over their decision last year that paves the way for Red McCombs’ long-dreaded Village at Wolf Creek. Maybe you also know that our partners filed 2 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests that, with the help of accompanying lawsuits, are yielding tens of thousands of pages filled with hidden, juicy and long-suspected evidence of illegal workarounds.

So where do things stand today?

Well, the unsexy truth of the matter is this: we’re continuing to dog the federal government for more documents pertaining to the case. Until a judge rules that the “administrative record” released by the federal government is complete, arguments in the main lawsuit against the development are on hold.

The public deserves to know how public agencies operate on their behalf. Without a complete administrative record, the real rationale for the Forest Service decision is a game of he-said, she-said. So, we’re digging into the documents we have, requesting more, and waiting to hear what the judge rules on those requests. Specifically, here’s what we’re up to:

  • Reading:This April we received 72,000 more pages of documents from Rocky Mountain Wild’s second FOIA lawsuit, and our lawyers and staff are starting to dig in. Another several thousand pages are due on our desks before the end of the month. We’ll let you know what gems we unearth from the mountain of mundane bureaucratic communications through the Wolf Creek Files.
  • Requesting:We need more. The documents received are still incomplete. We’ve requested the judge to compel the release of additional information to fill in the gaps, such as documents and correspondences from contractors hired by the developer to assist in the analysis.
  • Preparing:There is no deadline on when the judge will rule on our documents request. Once that decision is made, all parties will begin preparing for formal arguments on the merits of the court case. We hope this will be moving forward by mid-summer, but that’s anyone’s guess.

We’ve seen enough to know that this billionaire’s agenda to develop Wolf Creek pass has trumped public interest through undue influence and collusion. But we want ALL the evidence. While internal communications at the Forest Service suggest that some of the internal deliberations have been destroyed, we’re determined to find what still exists. Stay tuned: the needles we find in these haystacks are invariably interesting.

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