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Forest Service accepts Ski Area plan

Posted: Friday, Dec 14th, 2012

 SOUTH FORK – The Rio Grande National Forest recently accepted part of Wolf Creek Ski Area’s new master development plan (MDP).

The portions of the MDP pertaining to expansion onto the San Juan National Forest were not accepted and will not be considered until after the completion of the San Juan National Forest’s Land Management Plan Revision.

“Wolf Creek Ski Area records approximately 200,000 skier-days every year and is an important part of south-central Colorado’s winter economy” said Rio Grande National Forest Supervisor Dan Dallas. “Their MDP provides a blue print for how they propose to continue to provide safe, quality recreation opportunities to forest visitors.”

Acceptance of the MDP does not mean the Forest Service has approved the development proposals. Every development proposal must go through an environmental analysis as required by the National Environmental Policy Act before any decisions are made as to whether the proposals will be implemented.

The ski area is currently permitted to operate on 1,581 acres of land managed by the Rio Grande National Forest. The MDP is required for the special use permit the ski area holds with the forest and serves as a guide for the next 10 to 15 years for the ski area’s proposed future development. The MDP concerns only the ski area and has no connection to Leavell-McCombs Joint Venture’s proposed Village at Wolf Creek land exchange.

 A few of the future improvements and developments outlined in the MDP include:

• Replace the Treasure Lift with a high-speed detachable chairlift.

• Remodel the Sports Center and Upper Lodge deck.

• Replace the old Race Shack with a new Race Hutch.

• Reengineer the Treasure Lift to create the Elmo lift, which will provide more beginner and low-intermediate terrain as well as access from the bottom of the Alberta Lift back to the main base area.

 For more information concerning Wolf Creek Ski Area’s MDP, visit the Rio Grande National Forest’s website at www.fs.usda.gov/land/riogrande/landmanagement.

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