Forest Service releases draft decision for Vail Snowmaking Project | |

Forest Service releases draft decision for Vail Snowmaking Project

Staff Report
Snowguns fire man-made snow onto Golden Peak
Kari Mohr | Vail Resorts |

VAIL, Colo. – The White River National Forest has released the Draft Decision Notice for the Vail Mountain Resort Snowmaking Environmental Assessment (EA). After considering public comment, alternatives and the analysis, Scott Fitzwilliams, the Deciding Official, has approved the proposed action, pending objections.

Based on the analysis presented in the Environmental Assessment, the Draft Decision Notice identifies the Forest Supervisor’s Selected Alternative as the Proposed Action. The project includes 262 acres of new snowmaking coverage, 32.5 miles of snowmaking pipeline, and 14 new valve stations. The project is located on the upper portion of the front side of Vail Mountain, above the town of Vail, Colorado. All project components are within Vail’s existing Special Use Permit area.

“This project will produce consistent snow coverage throughout the season for high-use circulation routes providing for the safety of visitors and greater operational efficiency,” said Scott Fitzwilliams, Forest Supervisor. “Furthermore, the planning and design of the project reduces environmental impacts.” 

A drainage management plan will be prepared and will identify strategies to improve existing drainage, accommodate additional runoff, and satisfy Forest Management Direction to maintain or improve stream health.

The Environmental Assessment, Draft Decision Notice and supporting documentation are available for review online at: , and hardcopies are available for review at the Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District located at 24747 US Highway 24, Minturn, CO 81645. An interactive story map highlighting the Proposed Action is also available at:

This story will be updated by Vail Daily staff as we gather new information. 

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