Last updated 3:58PM ET
December 14, 2017
KSUT Regional
KSUT Regional
Falls Creek Ranch Road Paving Gets Thumbs Up
(2007-12-11)
(ksut) - HOST LEAD: A three year effort to improve a remote Forest Service Road that leads to both a secluded LaPlata County neighborhood, and Forest Lands, then turn it into a county road, is nearing an end.
KSUT's Victor Locke reports.

VICTOR: Talk of paving the 2-mile stretch of Forest Service Road 65 from where County Road 205 ends, to the entrance to Falls Creek Ranch has been underway for three years.
The road not only serves the remote neighborhood, but also provides access to Forest Service land, what's often referred to as "Hidden Valley."
LaPlata County Commissioners have approved an agreement to make the switch happen, for a second time.
The Forest Service will donate 35-thousand dollars, Falls Creek Residents 187-thousand dollars to buy paving materials.
The county will provide labor and equipment.
Once paving is complete, the road will fall under county jurisdiction, as an extension of County Road 205.
The project has been pursued by the 110 member Falls Creek Ranch Association, which presently provides most of the maintenance.
Opponents to the paving, mostly those living along the present paved stretch of County Road 205 continued to voice their opposition, citing safety and traffic concerns as well as a disruption of their lifestyle.
Will Harges told county officials taking over the road wouldn't be a wise.
HARGES: THIS IS A CASE WHERE WE HAVE TWO ENTITIES WHO ARE TRYING TO SELL YOU SOMETHING. I GUESS MY QUESTION WOULD BE ASKED, WHY DO THEY WANT TO SELL IT, WHY DO THEY WANT TO GET RID OF THIS? IT'S BECAUSE IT'S TOO EXPENSIVE FOR THEM TO MAINTAIN IT. SO IF THEY DON'T WANT IT, WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD YOU WANT IT.
Disputing claims the road paving would only benefit Falls Creek Ranch residents, association President Barry Bryant called it a win, win, win situation for the Forest Service, Falls Creek and the County.
BRYANT: SOME OF THE FLYERS THAT CAME OUT DURING THE CONTROVERSY TWO YEARS AGO SAID IN ONE BREATH, THAT THIS WAS A PRIVATE DRIVEWAY TO FALLS CREEK RANCH, AND THE NEXT SENTENCE SAYS USED BY THOUSANDS OF FOREST USERS. SO WHICH IS IT, IS IT A PUBLIC ROAD OR IS IT A PRIVATE ROAD? THAT IS THE KEY QUESTION. I THINK SEVERAL PREVIOUS SPEAKERS HAVE SAID IT SMELLS LIKE A COUNTY ROAD, WE THINK IT IS A COUNTY ROAD AND IT SHOULD BE. WE FURTHER THINK BECAUSE OF OUR HUGE FINANCIAL COMMITTMENT TO IT, THAT THIS IS A GIFT TO THE COUNTY AND NOT AN ABUSE OF TAXPAYER MONEY.
The plan to pave the stretch of road and turn it into a county road was actually first accepted two years ago by County Commissioners.
But since then, two new commissioners have been seated, and in response to public input, the Forest Service has conducted an environmental assessment of the plan, necessitating it to come back before current commissioners, who voted 3-0 in favor.
The paving is expected to be done, late next summer.
From KSUT, Four Corners Public Radio, I'm Victor Locke.
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