The U.S. Forest Service has approved a land swap that will allow construction of a road to a proposed residential development near the Wolf Creek Ski Area.

The Durango Herald reports that the proposed development still must cross many hurdles before final approval for construction is granted.

The swap will give developer Leavell-McCombs Joint Venture about 200 acres of Rio Grande National Forest land for a road connecting a highway to the proposed development.

The federal government would get 178 acres of privately held land.

Agreements must still be reached with agencies including the Colorado Department of Transportation and Mineral County. The process could take several more years.

Environmental groups have opposed the land swap due to concerns about wildlife, especially migration patterns for the Canada lynx.