The Aspen-Sopris Ranger District of the White River National Forest (WRNF) is soliciting comments on a proposal from Sunlight Mountain Resort (SMR) to install a new chairlift, construct a pit toilet and develop new adjacent trails at the resort.
They will be hosting a public meeting on February 4th from 5:00-7:00p.m., at the Glenwood Public Library. Forest Service and Sunlight Mountain Staff will be on hand to answer questions.
Sunlight proposes to add this new chair lift in the East Ridge area of the resort. The East Ridge primarily offers intermediate and advanced ski terrain that sits both on private land near Four Mile Creek and on National Forest System lands within Sunlight’s operational boundary. Approximately 2,000 feet of the new lift will span the White River National Forest. The top terminal will sit between Rebel and Beaujolais ski runs. Approximately ¾ of an acre will be cleared for catwalks to provide access to Rebel and Grizzly trails from the new top terminal.
The top terminal will include an operator building, an engine drive and motor room. Approximately ¼ acre of vegetation will be cleared to facilitate the unloading area, operator building and motor room. A small pit type outhouse would be constructed in an area adjacent to the top terminal for public and operator use.
The purpose of this project is to improve guest access to intermediate and advanced ski terrain. There is a demonstrated need to provide direct access by eliminating the use of the Tercero, Segundo and Primo Chairlifts. The new lift would also provide access to underutilized trails, increase access to repeat users and improve visitor experience.
In total, the proposed project would result in less than 5 acres of ground disturbance. Upon completion of the project, all disturbed areas would be revegetated. Construction staging and assembly areas will occur primarily on private lands.
Due to the minimal amount of new disturbance, the Forest Service is considering categorically excluding this project from analysis in an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement.
This public scoping period will be the only opportunity for individuals interested in or affected by this proposal to identify any potential extraordinary conditions or significant issues before the Responsible Official makes a decision.
Written comments must be submitted via mail service, facsimile, electronic mail, or in person, and comments concerning this action will be most helpful if received by February 23rd, 2020. Written comments must be submitted to: Scott Fitzwilliams, c/o Devon Cotsamire, Mountain Sports Administrator, Aspen-Sopris Ranger District, 620 Main Street, Carbondale, CO 81623, FAX (970) 963-1012. Business hours for those submitting hand-delivered comments are: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Electronic comments must be submitted in a format such as an email message, plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), or MS Word (.docx). Comments may also be submitted electronically at: https://cara.ecosystemmanagement.org/Public//CommentInput?Project=57417
Please include your name or the name of the organization you represent, the title of the project of concern (Sunlight Mountain Resort East Ridge Chairlift Project) and specific facts, concerns, or issues. In addition, please provide information on why this information should be considered.
This project is proposed within Sunlight’s Special Uses Permit (SUP) area and is consistent with the 2019 Sunlight Mountain Resort Master Development Plan amendment. For additional information please visit the project home page at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=57417