Forest Service seeks comments for Vail Mountain Snowmaking Project

Release Date: Oct 10, 2018  

October 10, 2018

Forest Service seeks comments for Vail Mountain Snowmaking Project

VAIL, Colo. – The Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District is seeking public comments in response to a proposal from Vail Resorts for a snowmaking project at Vail Mountain (Vail). The purpose of the project is to enhance the reliability and consistency of the skiing surface for high-use ski areas, critical circulation routes, and areas with high wind and solar exposure.

“Consistent snow coverage for circulation routes and high-use areas is vital for safety, visitor experience, and operations,” said Scott Fitzwilliams, Forest Supervisor. “As always, we look forward to hearing from the public about this project at the open house, or through the public comment process.”

The Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District will host a public open house from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Oct. 23, 2018 at the District Office located at 24747 US Highway 24 in Minturn, Colorado. The public is encouraged to attend to ask questions about the project.

The project includes 262 acres of new snowmaking coverage, 32.5 miles of new snowmaking pipeline, and 14 new valve stations. The project is located within the upper portion of the front side of Vail Mountain, above the town of Vail, Colorado. All project components are within Vail’s existing Forest Service Special Use Permit (SUP) area. An interactive story map highlighting the Proposed Action and preliminary findings is available at: https://goo.gl/7ApPdT. The formal Notice of Proposed Action is available for review online at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=54859. The notice and supporting documentation is also available for review at the Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District located at 24747 US Highway 24 Minturn, CO 81645. Additional information regarding this action can be obtained from Noel Ludwig, Project Leader, at nludwig@fs.fed.us or by phone at (303) 275-5164.

How to Comment:

Written comments must be submitted via mail to Scott Fitzwilliams, Forest Supervisor, c/o Noel Ludwig, 1617 Cole Blvd. Bldg. 17, Golden, CO 80401; in person between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday (excluding holidays) to Noel Ludwig, Project Lead, 1617 Cole Blvd. Bldg. 17, Golden, CO 80401; or electronically: https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public//CommentInput?Project=54859 .

Please note that this period is serving as both scoping and the sole comment period for the Proposed Action Alternative. There will be no other opportunity to comment. Specific written comments on the proposed project will be accepted for 30 calendar days following the publication of a legal notice in the Post Independent on Oct. 10, 2018. 

Only those who submit timely and specific written comments will have eligibility to file a pre-decisional objection pursuant to Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), more specifically 36 CFR 218.8.  For objection eligibility, each individual or representative from each entity submitting timely and specific written comments must either sign the comment or verify identity upon request.  Individuals and organizations wishing to be eligible to object must meet the information requirements in 36 CFR 218.25(a)(3). Comments should include: (1) name, address, telephone number, and organization represented, if any; (2) a heading referencing the “Vail Snowmaking Project”; and (3) specific facts, concerns or issues that should be considered, and supporting reasons. The forthcoming environmental review will be published on the Forest webpage at http://www.fs.usda.gov/projects/whiteriver/landmanagement/projects.

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