Forest Service approves upper independence cat skiing at keystone resort | VailDaily.com
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Forest Service approves upper independence cat skiing at keystone resort

Daily Staff Report

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — White River National Forest Supervisor Maribeth Gustafson has signed a Decision Notice approving the Upper Independence Cat Skiing proposal at Keystone Resort.

Based on a detailed Environmental Assessment prepared by the Forest Service, the decision authorizes the use of the Upper Independence area for snowcat and hike-to skiing within Keystone’s existing Special Use Permit (SUP) boundary.

Supervisor Gustafson stated in the Decision Notice, “I believe that the EA has adequately and clearly addressed the issues relevant to the proposal and do not feel that my approval of this project will significantly affect those seeking to enjoy backcountry opportunities. This project will allow guests of the ski area, including backcountry skiers, to enjoy an off-piste experience via snowcat or hiking within a controlled environment.”

“Keystone’s been considering the expansion of hike-to and snowcat skiing in the North-facing, steeper terrain of Upper Independence Bowl for the past few years,” said Chuck Tolton, director of mountain operations for Keystone. “We’ve seen an increasing demand for the hike-to and snowcat ski experience, and we feel that Upper Independence Bowl will offer a truly extraordinary experience for our guests within the spectacular setting of the White River National Forest.”

The decision is subject to appeal pursuant to 36 CFR 215.7. A written Notice of Appeal must be submitted within 45 days after the date the notice of this decision is published in the Glenwood Post Independent. The decision notice was published Aug. 1. Notice must be sent to: USDA, Forest Service, Region 2, Rocky Mountain Region/ATTN: Appeal Deciding Officer, P.O. Box 25127, Lakewood, Colorado 80225-0127. Appeals must meet content requirements of 36 CFR 215.14.

Copies of the EA and the Decision Notice / Finding of No Significant Impact are available for public review at the Forest Supervisor’s Office in Glenwood Springs, CO and Dillon Ranger District in Silverthorne, CO. The Decision Notice / Finding of No Significant Impact is also available online at http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/whiteriver/projects/.

For additional information, contact Dan Hormaechea at the Forest Supervisor’s Office at (970) 945-2521 or Joe Foreman or Jessica Pettee at the Dillon Ranger District at (970) 468-5400. Contact Amy Kemp, public affairs for Keystone, at (970) 331-7362.

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