Road could roll through Edwards forest
Edwards, CO Colorado
EDWARDS, Colorado ” The U.S. Forest Service is ready for the public’s input on a proposal that would approve an road across its land to a future development site known as the Overlook parcel.
The service has opened up a comment period until Feb. 6 to identify any concerns or issues in granting access to the 680-acre plot. A private developer that owns the parcel, which is surrounded by national forest, plans to build 19 residential lots in the area northwest of Berry Creek Road. Development can’t move forward until the road is approved.
The Forest Service has no choice but to grant the easement because the land is privately owned and has legal rights to develop it, said District Ranger Brian Lloyd.
The only control the service has is outlining what kind of road will lead to the site. Lloyd said the agency’s main concern is for deer and elk in the area, but there must be a balance.
“What we’re trying to do is build the road with the least amount of impact that will allow them (residents) what they need but will have minimal deer and elk impact,” he said.
Lloyd said cars, trucks and plows will disrupt the environment to a certain degree, so the road ” whether it be paved or gravel ” must be built without blocking migration routes or preventing the animals form finding food.
The comments submitted to the service will be collected and considered for an environmental study, which Lloyd believes will be ready around late spring or early summer. The service will then take that draft ” which will have a number of alternatives and their impacts on the area ” back to the public for another round of comments. After that, a final plan will be drafted and adopted.
Nearby resident Gretchen Gayton said she’s not too keen on the development coming into the area and doesn’t suspect many others will be, either.
“I would say it wouldn’t be well-received. I think we’re pretty developed here already,” she said. “The traffic impact we don’t need.”
She said people like to ride and walk in the area, which is mostly sagebrush and aspen, and it also will add to traffic from residents and the three schools nearby.
But 19 lots doesn’t sound too bad to Janet Ruiz, who also lives in the area.
“It doesn’t seem like it would cause that much traffic,” she said. “That doesn’t seem like too much,” she said.
Write: Brian Lloyd, District Ranger, Holy Cross Ranger District, P.O. Box 190, Minturn, CO 81645
The cutoff date for comments is Feb. 6
Dustin Racioppi can be reached at 970-748-2936 or email@example.com.