ASPEN - The White River National Forest is seeking feedback on a proposal from Aspen Skiing Co. to complete a skier-egress trail in the Burnt Mountain portion of Snowmass.
The proposed trail first was analyzed in the Snowmass Master Plan Amendment - Ski Area Improvements Environmental Assessment and approved in February 2006. However, subsequent to an appeal on the 2006 decision, a segment of the egress trail was remanded from the 2006 environmental-assessment approval, and additional analysis was necessary, according to the Forest Service. The proposed egress was in an area that was, at that time, an inventoried roadless area that extended into the ski area's special-use-permit boundary.
In 2012, the Colorado Roadless Rule removed all inventoried roadless areas from within ski area permit boundaries in Colorado. The Forest Service will re-analyze the environmental effects of the segment of trail remanded in 2006 to determine if any new conditions require additional analysis as directed by the National Environmental Policy Act.
The proposed trail would provide egress from the newly gladed terrain on the eastern portions of Burnt Mountain to the Long Shot ski trail. Skico opened about 230 acres of additional terrain on Burnt Mountain this season despite objections of some sidecountry skiers and snowboarders.
The egress trail would allow users to continue down to the Two Creeks base area and lift. The trail segment will be about 3,100 feet long with an average width of 35 feet. It will require removing select trees within a 2.5-acre area. Additionally, up to 500 linear feet of spot grading within the area proposed for tree removal might be required. To minimize impacts, tree removal and trail preparation would be conducted using design criteria and best-management practices.
The Forest Service requests comments concerning this proposal by March 25. Comments should go to: Jim Stark, winter sports administrator, Aspen Ranger District, 806 W. Hallam St., Aspen, CO 81611; fax 970-925-5277; or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information, contact Jim Stark at 970-945-3314.