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The 2009 Pre-NEPA process which led to rejection of the June 2009 Snodgrass proposal
The Pre-NEPA pre-application Initial Screening period ended 1/29/09 when the GMUG informed CBMR that the company could submit a proposal to expand onto Snodgrass along with the ski company’s Master Development Plan (MDP). CBMR submitted the MDP on 5/20/2009 and the Proposal for the Development of Snodgrass on 6/18/2009. On 11/5/2009 the Forest Service rejected the “site-specific proposal to build and operate lift-served ski facilities on Snodgrass Mountain.” It also returned the MDP to CBMR to be rewritten without the proposed Snodgrass expansion.

The reasons Forest Supervisor Richmond gave for the rejection included: inconvenient public access to the Snodgrass ski slopes, "Limitations of Snodgrass Mountain for lift-served skiing development based on the numerous studies and environmental issues that have been identified over the years" including geological hazards, adverse impacts on Snodgrass’ complex hydrology, the substantial earthmoving  required to create ski slopes, avalanche dangers to Gothic Road users, the fact that “the community is deeply divided over the proposed development of Snodgrass Mountain,” the displacement of current recreational users of the undeveloped Snodgrass, adverse impacts on nearby ranchers and on Rocky Mountain Biological Lab, and Roadless Rule conflicts.

Mr. Richmond concluded, “I believe that perpetuation of the debate in the NEPA process would further deepen the division that exists in the community and would likely uncover additional environmental concerns. Acceptance of your proposal would require a large commitment of both our resources and yours. In addition, local governments, stakeholders, and interested parties would need to expend time and energy engaging in the NEPA process. To proceed, I must be convinced that such an effort could lead to a decision which serves the public interest and for which there is a high likelihood of success. I am not convinced of this but rather am convinced otherwise.

"I believe that the factors discussed above, taken together, lead to only one conclusion. To proceed with consideration and approval of development which would have the social and community effects I summarize above, in the face of the inherent limitations and challenges of the mountain, considering potential environmental effects we already know of, without the clear support of the affected community, would not be in the public interest.  It is my finding that it is not in the public interest to continue to consider development on Snodgrass Mountain any further."

2009 Friends of Snodgrass Mountain • Contact Webmaster