Breckenridge Ski Resort, Copper Mountain Resort to install upgrades this summer |

Breckenridge Ski Resort, Copper Mountain Resort to install upgrades this summer

Alli Langley

Breckenridge Ski Resort and Copper Mountain Resort have proposed upgrades to be completed this summer, including adding snowmaking on Peak 6 at Breck and a new lift on Tucker Mountain at Copper.

The Forest Service excluded the projects from in-depth environmental analysis because the projects are modifications of minor special uses of national forest lands on less than 5 contiguous acres. The agency will still accept public comments on the projects through Friday, Jan. 30.

At Breckenridge, Vail Resorts has proposed disturbing about 2 acres of land to widen, grade and remove trees on part of the Monte Cristo trail on Peak 7 to improve skier traffic to the base.

The ski area also wants to install a snowmaking pipeline to create snow in the area between and around the Zendo and Kensho chairlifts.

At Copper, the resort wants to install a lift on the north side of Tucker Mountain. A similar lift was approved by the Forest Service in 2006 but the lift’s alignment has since changed and will require less ground disturbance and tree removal.

Copper also has proposed adding public restrooms with composting toilets at the bottom of the Mountain Chief lift and constructing a new mountain biking trail next to the American Eagle lift, which would involve a half-acre of land disturbance.

The Summit Board of County Commissioners met with employees in the county planning department Tuesday, Jan. 27, to discuss the upgrades.

The three commissioners supported the ski resorts’ proposals and agreed to send the Forest Service a letter that encourages the agency to continue to consider best management practices, said Lindsay Hirsch, planning manager.

He said the county always requests that the Forest Service encourage the ski area to avoid or minimize tree removal, erosion and impacts to wetlands.

Hirsch said county officials also discussed Tuesday when and how they and the Upper Blue Planning Commission would review the much larger and more controversial proposal from Breckenridge Ski Resort to expand its permitted land uses with more summer activities.

As is customary, the county will submit formal input on that proposal before the Forest Service deadline of March 2 for public comment.

For information about the proposals, contact Shelly Grail Braudis at the Dillon Ranger District at (970) 262-3484.

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