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Our legal battle to halt the Pillage at Wolf Creek continues in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. Yesterday the San Juan Citizens Alliance and co-plaintiffs San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council, Rocky Mountain Wild, and Wilderness Workshop filed a petition for a rehearing “en banc” – before the entire bench of 10th Circuit judges – to address the proponent’s access to a public highway.

The petition follows an unfavorable opinion from the 10th Circuit in April 2024 that held that the Forest Service must grant access from Highway 160, across National Forest land, to a private inholding on Wolf Creek Pass for the purposes of constructing a resort village. That decision in part flowed from a three judge panel’s interpretation of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) which dictates that the federal government must provide access to inholdings landlocked by public lands, at least in Alaska. Courts have extrapolated that law to apply in the lower 48, leading to a host of conflicts between conservation interests and developers.

If the 10th Circuit grants a rehearing, environmental plaintiffs will have an opportunity to argue the ANILCA issue before the entire 10th circuit bench. The Court’s decision in April noted that the 10th Circuit is bound by its own 1994 precedent regarding ANILCA, and that with no Supreme Court guidance on the issue, that precedent could be overturned en banc. We eagerly await the Court’s decision on our rehearing request as we continue the battle for Wolf Creek Pass.

  • For more information on the Pillage and our efforts to stop it, please visit our Wolf Creek landing page.
  • Or read our latest blog post.
  • To speak out against development, please comment on our petition through Friends of Wolf Creek.
  • And if you’re showing your support with a “No Pillage” sticker, share a photo on social media with the hashtags #NoPillage and #FriendsOfWolfCreek.

San Juan Citizens Alliance is rolling up our sleeves once again to stop the Pillage.

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