Dyer Mountain resort opponents speak up
Environmental groups give opening brief in lawsuit to stop development
A decade ago, residents of Lassen County approved the resort development of Dyer Mountain, near the small town of Westwood east of Lake Almanor. That development has yet to happen, and if opponents get their way it will be stalled forever.
Last week environmental groups offered their opening brief in a lawsuit filed in 2007 to block development of the forested region. A large-scale housing development, along with a ski resort and three golf courses, has been approved for the area. The Sierra Club, Sierra Watch and Mountain Meadows Conservancy say it needs further environmental review, however, because the area is home to more than a dozen special-status wildlife species and, should global warming continue, the low elevation would not provide natural snow for the ski resort.
“This massive development proposal has no place on Dyer Mountain, which is in a remote, rural area,” Steve Robinson of Mountain Meadows Conservancy said in a statement. The nearest town, Westwood, has 2,000 residents. The development calls for 4,000 homes.
The plaintiffs are requesting that the court rescind approval for the development because Lassen County failed to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act.
The project itself has been caught in the crosshairs of the foreclosure crisis and has changed hands numerous times over the past two years, since the original owners of the land, Dyer Mountain Associates, filed for bankruptcy in 2008, according to the Sacramento Bee.
Dyer Mountain is the ancestral home of the Honey Lake Maidu tribe, and several burials and sacred sites lie within the proposed resort area.