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USFS Breckenridge Peak 6 appeal decision summary

USFS Breckenridge Peak 6 appeal decision summary

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Published by SummitVoice
Summary of denial of the appeal of Breckenridge Ski Area Peak 6 expansion
Summary of denial of the appeal of Breckenridge Ski Area Peak 6 expansion

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Published by: SummitVoice on Nov 29, 2012
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11/29/2012

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File Code:
 
1570
 
Date:
 
 November 19, 2012
 
Rocky Smith
 
1030 Pearl #9
 
Denver, CO 80203
 
Dear Mr. Smith,
 
On October 5, 2012, you filed a Notice of Appeal (NOA) as thelead appellant on an August 15, 2012, decision by White River Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams to approve an expansion of the Breckenridge Ski Area onto Peak 6. Your appeal was timelyand 48 individuals and organizations have standing to appeal asco-appellants.
 
Pursuant to 36 CFR 215.17 an attempt was made to seek informal resolution of the appeal. The record indicates thatinformal resolution was not reached.
 
 
My review of this appeal was conducted in accordance with 36CFR 215.18 - formal review and disposition procedures. I havereviewed the appeal record, including your written NOA, theRecord of Decision (ROD), Final Environmental ImpactStatement (FEIS), Draft Environmental Impact Statement(DEIS) and supporting documentation. I weighed therecommendation from the Appeal Reviewing Officer andincorporated it into this decision. A copy of the Appeal
Reviewing Officer’s recommendation is enclosed. This letter 
constitutes my decision on the appeal and on the specific relief requested.
 
ACTION BEING APPEALED
 
The August 15 decision allows Vail Resorts, operator of theBreckenridge Ski Area, to provide access to approximately 550additional acres by constructing two ski lifts, a ski patrol/warming hut and a restroom facility. It allowsconstruction of seven below-treeline trails, totalingapproximately 68 acres, on terrain known as Peak 6 north of theexisting special use permit area. Lift-served, above-timberlineterrain will provide approximately 339 additional acres of Intermediate, Advanced-Intermediate, and Expert skiing. Of this total, approximately 235 acres will be lift-served by the newPeak 6 lifts, and 104 new added acres will be lift-served byaccessing the existing Imperial Express SuperChair.
 
 
The decision also includes a site-specific amendment to lynxdirection in the White River Forest Plan.
 
APPEAL REVIEWING OFFICER’S FINDINGS AND
RECOMMENDATION
 
Appeal Reviewing Officer Scott Armentrout, Grand Mesa,Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests Supervisor, foundthat:
 
Documentation in the record demonstrated compliance withapplicable laws, regulations and policies in light of the appealissues raised by the appellant:
The project would harm lynx which violates theEndangered Species Act and the National ForestManagement Act.
 
The approval of the project violates NEPA andfails to meet the purpose and need.
 
The project violates Forest Plan direction onscenery.
 
The FEIS does not adequately evaluate the loss of  backcountry skiing or the location where backcountryaccess gates might be located.
 

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