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Phil Reinholtz of the U.S. Forest Service told the Rio Grande Water Conservation District this week that the Wolf Creek exchange process for the Village at Wolf Creek is progressing and that a public field trip to the proposed land exchange area will likely be conducted next month. Reinholtz said the environmental impact statement in this process might be completed by the end of the year. The EIS addresses water quality and quantity impacts of the proposal, among other items, according to Reinholtz. The Rio Grande National Forest is considering two main options for providing access to the village. One would be the land exchange between developer Leavell-McCombs joint venture and the federal government swapping 204 acres of federal land for about 178 acres owned by the developer. The exchange would connect the private land to U.S. 160 so an access easement across federal land wouldn’t be necessary. Alternatively, the Rio Grande National Forest would consider an access easement to the private land near the Wolf Creek Ski Area where the village is proposed. It is hoped that infrastructure construction might begin on the village in the summer of 2013 with the central core of the village opening in 2015.

Take a tour through the picturesque mountain communities of Silver Cliff and Westcliffe and get a first-hand account of what life in the 1800’s was like in two of southern Colorado’s most historic ranching and mining towns. This guided heritage tour, managed by Frontier Pathways Scenic and Historic Byway, will begin at 1pm on Saturday, July 30th, and again at 1pm on Saturday, August 13th. Board a comfortable, air-conditioned tour bus outside the All Aboard Westcliffe Museum and visit numerous historic sites on the way to Silver Cliff. The tour bus will return to Westcliffe 90 minutes later. The discounted promotional price for the journey through history is $18 on July 30th, and $22 on August 13th. To make reservations or for more information, call Pam Koons toll free at 1-855-543-2430.

South Fork’s annual Mushroom Foray will take place on August 12th and 13th. Interested individuals will join Roger Dawson for one of two fun filled days of collection and identification of local mushroom species. This event is designed for beginner to intermediate hunters, with each day starting with a brief introduction of where to look for mushrooms and how to collect them at the South Fork visitor’s center at 8:30am each day. After the orientation, the group will car pool to various locations within the national forest to collect and identify mushrooms. Space is limited, so reserve your spot as soon as possible. Registration is $7 for the class, or $27 if you would like to purchase the Mushroom Hunter’s book. To register or for more information, call the South Fork Visitor’s Center at 719-873-5512.

The Valley Farmer’s Market in Alamosa is now open and continues every Saturday through October 8th. Alamosa’s farmers market is located at the parking lot near State and Main in downtown Alamosa. Vendors offer locally produced fruits, vegetables, specialty items and crafts from 8am to 2pm. Farm fresh products from Colorado and New Mexico, live music, cooking demos and family oriented events create a lively community market every Saturday. Tomorrow, the market will present a solar cooking demonstration at the SLV local foods booth. Event information is posted at www.alamosafarmersmarket.org.

The La Veta School of the Arts is offering a Traditional Drawing Workshop, July 30th and 31st. Instructor Kathy Hill is well known for her specialty of watercolor paintings of the Spanish Peaks and the surrounding area. This class will help students learn to see, to draw or to learn to draw better. The concept of learning to draw what you see fused with basic drawing skills will be taught in this two-day hands-on workshop. Cost is $150. A supply list will be provided upon registration. To register, go to www.thelvsa.org.