Letter to the editor: New Peak 7 lift at Breckenridge would negatively impact Cucumber Gulch Preserve
I read the article on Breckenridge Ski Resort’s proposal to install a new lift on Peak 7 (“Breckenridge Ski Resort looks to install a new chairlift on Peak 7, pending Forest Service approval,” published Aug. 3 in the Summit Daily News). While a new lift might be needed to ease skier traffic, I’m alarmed by the lack of mention of what impact this proposal could have on Cucumber Gulch Preserve and the wetland and wildlife systems in the area.
Cucumber Gulch Preserve is a wildlife habitat and a delicate ecosystem that our community is heavily invested in and works hard to protect. The proposed bottom terminal would be smack in the middle of wetlands. Any construction and regular traffic could possibly damage the wetlands. Additionally, this proposal cuts through a major wildlife corridor into the preserve.
This project as submitted (maybe the bottom terminal can be moved out of the wetlands) has not been approved yet; I want to urge the U.S. Forest Service to reconsider approving this proposal without first conducting an environmental assessment to analyze the negative impacts that could result in the many acres downstream in the wetland and wildlife systems and Cucumber Gulch Preserve.
As mentioned in the Summit Daily article, the Forest Service welcomes comments from the public. I plan on commenting at FS.USDA.gov/project/?project=55905 and want to encourage community members who care about the preserve and the health of the surrounding area to do the same.
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