Crested Butte Mountain Resort Receives Snodgrass Geology Report - Plans to Expand into Controversial Terrain Move Forward
The long awaited U.S. Geological Survey report on Crested Butte's Snodgrass Mountain has been made public after a lengthy review process by the US Forest Service.
Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) and the US Forest Service conducted two in-depth geological hazards investigations with the goal of determining the suitability of Snodgrass Mountain for lift serviced alpine skiing. These two studies are in addition to several other studies that have been conducted on the mountain going as far back as 1976 making Snodgrass one of the most studied ski mountains in the country.
Rex Baum of the United States Geological Survey (USGS) released a report dated January 8, 2009 that reviewed the two studies. Mr. Baum has reviewed other studies in the past and issued his own report on Snodgrass in 1996. The current report expressed two primary locations of concern that have consistently been identified as areas of concern in other previous reports.
The Forest Service has reviewed the findings of the geology report and Mr. Baum's summary findings and will submit a letter to CBMR on the areas of exclusion for ski resort use on Snodgrass Mountain.
CBMR will be refining it's Master Plan over the next several weeks to address concerns in the report expressed by the Forest Service and will then submit the plan to the Forest Service. The Forest Service has told CBMR that as long the plan addresses the geology concerns and stays within specified guidelines it will accept the Snodgrass proposal.
"After four years of pre-NEPA evaluation, we are very pleased to have the geology issue answered and now behind us. We look forward to moving the Snodgrass plan along in the process with the Forest Service and into NEPA". Said Michael Kraatz, Vice President of Planning and Development for CBMR.
"We anticipate having the adjustments to the Master Plan including Snodgrass complete by the end of February. The formal Snodgrass proposal and the Master Plan will then be submitted to the Forest Service at that point. We anticipate the Forest Service will take several weeks to review the proposal and Master Plan and we hope to be in NEPA by late spring.", said Kraatz.
Crested Butte Mountain Resort is located in southwest Colorado within the Gunnison National Forest and the Elk Mountain Range of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. The Crested Butte Ski Area contains 1,167 ski acres, operated under permit from the Forest Service USDA.