Head of US Forest Service will review Crested Butte’s Snodgrass Mountain expansion proposal

Posted By: The Ski Channel on June 23, 2010 7:13 pm

Managers at Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) received formal confirmation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell will conduct a review of the recent appeal decision regarding proposed expansion onto Snodgrass Mountain.

The proposed Snodgrass Mountain expansion would increase the amount of intermediate and advanced terrain at CBMR with 276 acres of skiing served by three lifts, a beginner carpet, and a connector Gondola from Crested Butte Mountain.

Chief Tidwell, will review Deputy Regional Forester James Peña’s decision concerning the resort’s Snodgrass Mountain expansion proposal appeal. A report from the reviewing officer is due within 30 days of the date of the notice, which CBMR believes will result in a decision by July 14, 2010.

On May 6, Deputy Regional Forester Peña released his decision regarding the Snodgrass Mountain expansion proposal appeal filed by CBMR in December 2009. Peña upheld Forest Supervisor Charlie Richmond’s refusal to consider the Snodgrass Mountain expansion proposal in a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process with public involvement.

CBMR asked Tidwell to review the decision and set it aside based upon the issues identified in CBMR’s original appeal: that the Forest Service did not follow its own regulations, and Forest Supervisor Richmond made a fundamentally unfair decision in a private process that violated federal law and excluded the public from a watershed public lands decision that determined the future of the ski area and the community.

For those just now following the story, on December 18, 2009, Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) filed an appeal with the U.S. Forest Service disputing the agency’s original November 2009 decision to reject the resort’s proposed expansion onto Snodgrass Mountain without conducting a public review under NEPA. In its appeal CBMR asked the Forest Service to initiate a public and objective NEPA process for Snodgrass.