Indexed News on:

--the California "Mega-Park" Project

Tracking measurable success on efforts across California to preserve and connect our Parks & Wildlife Corridors



WE POST NEWS THREE WAYS:
1. long detailed stories on blogspot (here!)
2. short messages on Twitter
3. automated news feeds from CA enviro websites in the right-hand column which change frequently and are not archived by our website (that's why we now have a twitter account to permanently capture the memorable feeds)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

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In Lassen County: Sierra's Dyer Mountain Ski Resort Developer Files Bankruptcy


http://yubanet.com/regional/Sierra-s-Dyer-Mountain-Files-Bankruptcy.php

By: Tom Mooers, Sierra Watch

Westwood, CA (Lassen County), April 2, 2008 - The biggest development proposal in the Sierra Nevada came to a halt when proponents Dyer Mountain Associates filed for bankruptcy in the Federal Bankruptcy Court in San Francisco March 27.

"Now that the threat of development is lifted, we look forward to working to secure permanent protection for Dyer Mountain and its incredible natural resources," said Steve Robinson of Mountain Meadows Conservancy.

Dyer Mountain Associates (DMA) began pursuing development on remote Dyer Mountain in Lassen County nearly ten years ago. With the promise of a new ski resort and local jobs, a version of the project was initially approved by a voter initiative in 2000. But the scope of the project ballooned into a vague plan for 4,000 new homes, three golf courses, and the ski resort on 7,000 acres of forest lands.

Developers had promised ski operations by November 2007, but the project mired in deepening legal and financial turmoil; DMA was subject to at least five lawsuits and two scathing court orders. In May 2007, for example, San Francisco Superior Court assigned a majority stake in DMA to a court appointed receiver, stating that DMA "...is in default of outstanding loans to creditors, payroll, rent and other financial obligations."

DMA continued to push its project through the planning process, and, in September of 2007, Lassen County gave its approval. A powerful coalition of local, regional, and international conservation groups filed suit. Mountain Meadows Conservancy, Sierra Watch, and Sierra Club petitioned Lassen County Superior Court to overturn the county's approval, contending the proposed development was not only irresponsible but also illegal.

In January 2008, creditors foreclosed on the property itself. With last week's bankruptcy filing, DMA seeks to suspend foreclosure and gain protection from remaining debt, including nearly $200,000 in back taxes owed to Lassen County.

"Folks in Lassen County and throughout California recognized that this was not the best way to plan the future of the Sierra Nevada," said Tom Mooers of Sierra Watch. "Now Dyer Mountain is becoming another example of how we can work together to defend our favorite Sierra places."

In the months ahead, conservationists will seek an opportunity to bring all parties to the table to seek a conservation resolution for Dyer Mountain. "Bankruptcy might put a halt to the DMA development proposal, but it doesn't achieve our goal," said Robinson. "We look forward to sitting down with county officials, creditors, conservation allies, and others to secure permanent protection of the property itself."

The Mountain Meadows Conservancy's mission is to conserve and enhance the natural beauty and environmental health of the Mountain Meadows watershed; protect its significant Mountain Maidu burial and cultural sites; and provide recreation and public access for generations to come. For more information, visit www.mtmeadows.org.

Sierra Watch defends the incomparable natural resources and unparalleled quality of life in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. For more information, call (530) 265-2849 or visit www.sierrawatch.org.

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Dyer Mountain files bankruptcy

Apr 2, 2008

http://www.theunion.com/article/20080402/BREAKINGNEWS/406859781

The biggest development proposal in the Sierras has been put on hold after owners filed bankruptcy in a Federal Bankruptcy Court in San Francisco.

Dyer Mountain Associates filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on March 27 after pursuing development for ten years in a remote area of Lassen County known as Dyer Mountain.

Plans for the four season mountain resort included 4,000 homes, three golf courses and a ski resort on 7,000 acres of forest lands. The site is considered sacred by the Honey Lake Maidu.

In 2000, 62 percent of Lassen County voters approved re-zoning Dyer Mountain from timber production to a mountain resort.

In recent times the project has become mired in financial troubles with lawsuits stemming from defaulted loans and mismanaged funds.

Despite the problems, Lassen County approved the project in September 2007.

Mountain Meadows Conservancy, Sierra Watch and Sierra Club petitioned Lassen County Superior Court to overturn the county’s approval, contending the proposed development was illegal.

In January, creditors foreclosed on the property.

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Ski resort files for bankruptcy

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-briefs3apr03,1,1268186.story

The owners of a Sierra Nevada mountainside who planned to build California's first major ski operation in three decades have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, prompting environmentalists to renew calls to stop the controversial project.

A representative of Dyer Mountain Associates said the company still intends to pursue its proposal to turn nearly 7,000 acres abutting Walker Lake in Lassen County into a four-seasons resort with golf, mountain biking, boating and fishing and several thousand dwellings and hotel rooms.

Merle Meyers, the owners' attorney, said they filed for bankruptcy protection to avoid foreclosure on the property while seeking new loans or investors. "There is no intention of going out of business," he said. "It is still a great project and needs great capital."

Among the debts listed is nearly $200,000 in back taxes owed to Lassen County.

The project has been slowed by financial and legal troubles and infighting. County voters approved a more modest plan in 2000. But the plan grew, along with criticism from environmentalists and others who feared it would harm the area's quality of life, traffic, air, water and wildlife.

"We hope this [bankruptcy filing] takes the development proposal off the table," said Tom Mooers of Sierra Watch. "The project does not pencil out economically, environmentally or from any other standpoint."

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The developer’s website:

http://www.dyermtn.com/

and http://www.dyermountainusa.com/

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