On December 18, Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) filed an appeal with the U.S. Forest Service disputing the agency’s decision last month to reject the resort’s proposed expansion onto Snodgrass Mountain without conducting a public review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

The proposed Snodgrass expansion is critical for the long-term viability of CBMR and the economic health of the East River Valley in Gunnison County says CBMR. The proposed 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. Snodgrass Mountain is located adjacent to Crested Butte Mountain.

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The Friends of Ski Lifts on Snodgrass and Citizens for NEPA are teaming up once again for two separate rallies in Crested Butte and Gunnison.

On Monday, December 7, 2009, they be meeting at the Four Way Stop in Crested Butte at 6:00 pm to march down Elk Avenue and back, ending at the CB Town Council Meeting. The purpose of the rally is to show the new Town Council that “our community is not divided on the proposed Snodgrass Expansion, but that 85% of our community is in favor of moving the proposed expansion into NEPA”.

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In a recent survey, the Crested Butte/Mt. Crested Butte Chamber Of Commerce asked whether the Forest Service should reverse its decision and allow the proposed Snodgrass project into the NEPA process? They were not asking if people supported Crested Butte Mountain Resort’s Snodgrass proposal only whether it should be given an open public hearing.

Of 736 respondents, 82% said yes. Click here to see the results.

The United States Forest Service issued a letter to Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) on November 5, 2009 denying the resort the ability to enter into the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process with its Snodgrass Mountain expansion proposal.  Apparently, this decision comes after the resort has been working with the Forest Service on the Snodgrass expansion proposal for the past five years.  Additional information regarding this decision may be obtained by going to the www.snodgrassfacts.com website.

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The long awaited U.S. Geological Survey report on Crested Butte’s Snodgrass Mountain has been made public after a lengthy review process by the US Forest Service.

Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) and the US Forest Service conducted two in-depth geological hazards investigations with the goal of determining the suitability of Snodgrass Mountain for lift serviced alpine skiing. These two studies are in addition to several other studies that have been conducted on the mountain going as far back as 1976 making Snodgrass one of the most studied ski mountains in the country.

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Tim and Diane Mueller, owners of Crested Butte Mountain Resort, are looking for active support of their proposed plans for the expansion to Snodgrass Mountain.  And attending meetings and contributing to polls won’t cut it.  According to an open letter from the Muellers, "The Forest Service has made it clear that they will not allow the Snodgrass plan to enter the NEPA process unless there is strong community support for it.

"The Forest Service will gage [sic] this support by community feedback to them through letters and emails.  Therefore, it is most critical that all of the supporters for lift serviced alpine skiing on Snodgrass either email or write letters of support for the project to the Forest Service."   

Emails to the Forest Service can be sent via the SnodgrassFacts.com web site, or you can send letters to the following address: 

Charlie Richmond, Forest Supervisor
USDA Forest Service
Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forest
2250 Highway 50
Delta, CO 81416

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Planners for Crested Butte Mountain Resort recently held a public meeting to present their plans for the expansion of Crested Butte’s terrain to Snodgrass Mountain.  Citing “terrain variety” as the second most important trip decision factor after snow quality, the Snodgrass expansion will add a further 162 acres of intermediate terrain. Crested Butte Mountain Resort currently offers only 362 acres of intermediate terrain, less than half of most of its competitors, and among the lowest of destination resorts in Colorado.

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In the next few days Mt. Crested Butte town officials will be sending a letter to the U.S. Forest Service indicating their community’s support of Crested Butte Mountain Resort’s (CBMR) proposal to expand lift-accessed skiing onto neighboring Snodgrass Mountain.

Plans to expand the ski area onto the 11,145-foot-high Snodgrass Mountain, adjacent to Mt. Crested Butte, have come and gone for more than two decades.

In a community survey conducted by Crested Butte in 2006 that asked area residents about their stance on issues such as the development of the North Village, the need for more public amenities like parks, and whether or not they support the Snodgrass expansion.  The survey indicates that 68 percent of the general respondents support the expansion and 66 percent of full-time Mt. Crested Butte residents support the expansion.

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