Forest Service seeks feedback on A-Basin proposed Beavers’ expansion |

Forest Service seeks feedback on A-Basin proposed Beavers’ expansion

Breeana Laughlin
A public open house A-Basin's Beaver's Expansion proposal will be held at the Silverthorne Library, at 651 Center Circle, Silverthorne, Colorado on Dec. 3 between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m.
Summit Daily file photo/Breeana Laughlin |

A-Basin’s proposals

Adventure zip line course

Surface lift from Len lift to Zuma Bowl

Snowmaking reservoir storage

Approximately 434-acre Beavers expansion with one lift; 282 lift-serviced acres, 152 hike-back acres

Remove Norway lift

Replace Pallavicini and Molly Hogan lifts with similar alignment and capacity

The White River National Forest is looking for feedback from the public after accepting a proposal from the Arapahoe Basin Ski Area to expand and make improvements on the mountain.

A-Basin’s proposal includes a new lift and added terrain. The “Beavers” expansion would incorporate about 434 acres of terrain into the ski area, with 282 lift-served acres and 152 hike-back acres.

A 4,200-foot-long Beavers chairlift (with a 1,500-foot vertical climb) would provide access to two additional blue runs and increased access to black-diamond tree-skiing trails. The expansion would also incorporate double-black-diamond hiking and skinning terrain.

The project would expand A-Basin’s territory beyond its current boundaries, but would stay within the U.S. Forest Service’s special-use permit. The proposed improvements were included in the ski area’s 2012 development plan.

Other projects in A-Basin’s proposal are a zip line, increased storage for snowmaking and the removal and replacement of old lifts.

A public open house to hear more about the proposal will be held at the Silverthorne Library, at 651 Center Circle, Silverthorne, on Dec. 3 between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m.

Representatives from the White River National Forest and A-Basin will be on hand to answer questions and provide additional information on this project.

A-Basin staffers and other project representatives hosted an event at the ski area in early October to introduce stakeholders and interested members of the public to their proposal. A-Basin vice president and chief operating officer Alan Henceroth led the field tour. Representatives from SE Group, a third-party consultant hired by the Forest Service, were also at the event. The SE Group is tasked with completing the environmental impact statement.

Independent environmental consultant Rocky Smith raised questions about developing the land during the October field visit.

“We’re concerned about going into a roadless area — although it’s not officially considered a roadless area under the Colorado roadless rule — and putting lifts and a lot of people in there,” he said. “We would like to see it stay as it is. There is also a possible issue with lynx. We will be watching (the project) very closely.”

In early October, Henceroth said he knows there is going to be a thorough analysis made on the proposal and its potential impacts on lynx habitat.

“We do have forethought and we are trying to think about what the issues are going to be,” he said.

Public comments concerning the proposal must be submitted to the Forest Service by Jan. 17, 2014.

Send comments to: Scott Fitzwilliams, Forest Supervisor, c/o Joe Foreman, Winter Sports Permit Administrator, Dillon Ranger District, 680 Blue River Parkway, P.O. Box 620, Silverthorne, CO 80498; or with “2013 A-Basin Improvements EIS” in the email subject line.

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