lift-free forever!  
  Friends of Snodgrass Mountain photo courtesy of ColoradoAerials.com
 
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photo courtesy of Xavier Fane
   
Quick List of Reasons to Keep It Wild, Keep It Free
 
IT'S NOT LIGHT!
A Snodgrass ski area would result in:
• Cutting 150-200 acres of trees or approximately 96,000 trees.
• Increasing the energy use and carbon footprint, while losing the carbon storage in the trees.
• Loss of habitat and migration corridors for wildlife.
• Altering the mountain's natural hydrology systems in order to stabilize the geology.
• Creation of roads, massive earth movement, rock blasting, and impacting wetlands and streams.
• Taking 80 million gallons of water annually from the East River for snowmaking, losing 25% to evaporation.

Regional Director US EPA: "No other land management prescription on the Forest directly results in more stream-water depletion, wetlands impacts, air pollution, permanent vegetation change, or permanent habitat loss, than terrain expansion. Ski area expansions result in irreversible and irretrievable impacts to the environment."
 
IT'S NOT INTERMEDIATE!
• There is little naturally occurring intermediate terrain on Snodgrass.
• THERE ARE NO LONG BLUE CRUISERS on Snodgrass.
• The amount of earthwork required to create intermediate terrain would be massive.
• Most of the newly created intermediate trails would not emulate natural terrain.
• Even after the massive amounts of earthwork, most of the length of the intermediate trails would be easy green.
The few intermediate trails on natural terrain would be short, have southern exposure, low elevation and most would not have snow making, making it difficult to keep them open all ski season.
• Why not finish the approved projects on Crested Butte Mountain? Intermediate terrain under the Silver Queen, widening of the Silver Queen Road, base area cafeteria and picnic area, glading at East River.
 
WHY IT WON'T WORK!
Colorado has had huge ski terrain expansions, but very slow growth in skier visits:
• Dozens of expansions, adding over 13,000 skiable acres for a 50% increase in terrain.
• Skier visit growth was .3% per year between 1995/96 and 2008/09.
• The resorts that increased skier visits are mainly located close to I-70 and/or Denver.
• Most skier visit growth was due to increased usage of cheap season passes, not increased Tourist Visits.
• CBMR is far from population centers, it is difficult and costly to get to and it does not offer cheap passes.
• CBMR says a Snodgrass expansion would increase annual skier visits by more than 50%, to 600,000 visits.
• It would take CBMR over 100 years to accomplish that goal at Colorado's 10 year average growth rate!
• Aging Baby Boomer skiers dropped from 1.2 million skiers in 1997 to 725,000 in 2008.
• Total numbers of skiing and snowboarding participants have dropped 20% or more since 2003.
• Forest Service priorities are changing. All approved expansions in the past 10 years have had a focus on being low impact.
 
Snodgrass Mountain's Irreplaceable Public Benefits
• Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory - Snodgrass provides a buffer for this unique scientific research center, which has contributed to global understanding of climate and life systems for 80 years.
• A much-loved, much-used, non-motorized, FREE, year-round "backcountry" recreation area
• Non-motorized winter recreation in Washington Gulch and the Gothic Corridor.
• The Public Land on Snodgrass Mountain is Open Space we already own!
• Water – is the evaporative loss of manmade snow the best use of this precious resource?
• Wildlife habitat and migration corridors and a functioning ecosystem.
• 1,500 Friends of Snodgrass Mountain - 67% of whom are Gunnison County residents - believe the mountain is more valuable to our economy, our community and our environment without lifts.
 
Write to the Forest Service (and more) today to voice your support for a lift-free Snodgrass.

2009 Friends of Snodgrass Mountain • Contact Webmaster