[Federal Register Volume 61, Number 155 (Friday, August 9, 1996)]
[Pages 41562-41563]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 96-20325]

                                                Federal Register

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains documents other than rules 
or proposed rules that are applicable to the public. Notices of hearings 
and investigations, committee meetings, agency decisions and rulings, 
delegations of authority, filing of petitions and applications and agency 
statements of organization and functions are examples of documents 
appearing in this section.


Federal Register / Vol. 61, No. 155 / Friday, August 9, 1996 / 

[[Page 41562]]


Forest Service

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area Master Development Plan, Arapaho National 
Forest, Summit County, CO

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare an environment impact statement.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Forest Service (Forest Service) has received a Master 
Development Plan from Arapahoe Basin Ski Area (A-Basin) to update the 
1982 plan presently in effect. The Master Development Plan outlines a 
number of ski area modifications and new facilities, including limited 
snowmaking and a mid-mountain lodge. A-Basin is located in Summit 
County and operates on Arapaho National Forest under a Special Use 
Permit issued by the Forest Service. The Forest Service is initiating 
the process of preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to 
analyze and disclose the effects of the proposed Master Development 
Plan and alternatives. Potential alternatives have not yet been 

DATES: Comments concerning the scope of the analysis should be received 
by September 7, 1996.

ADDRESSES: Send written comments to Tere O'Rourke, District Ranger, 
U.S. Forest Service, P.O. Box 620, 680 Blue River Parkway, 
Silverthorne, Colorado, 80498. FAX comments to Tere O'Rourke at (970) 
468-7735. Oral comments will also be accepted.

Administrator, (970) 468-5400. FAX (970) 468-7735.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Arapahoe Basin Master Development Plan 
(MDP) was recently completed to update the 1982 Arapahoe Basin Ski Area 
Master Plan (1982 Plan). The 1982 Plan currently guides the Forest 
Service in their administration of the ski area's Special Use Permit. A 
majority of the upgrades describes within the 1982 Plan have been 
implemented, with the exception of the proposed snowmaking facilities. 
Given the age and status of the 1982 Plan, the Forest Service and A-
Basin determined that an updated plan would be appropriate at this 
time. The MDP includes the following features:
     Snowmaking capabilities on 84 acres of terrain (17% of the 
total developed terrain) potentially to extend the ski season to 
September 1 annually
     Potential construction of a one-acre foot capacity pond 
for water storage for the snowmaking facilities
     Facility upgrades and modifications including: rental shop 
upgrade; additional parking and access through a highway underpass; a 
utility corridor (for water, wastewater, electricity, and phone); a 
mid-mountain day lodge; and alpine slide; Norway lift modifications; 
and patrol headquarters building
     Mountain biking trails
     Hiking/interpretive trails
    Details pertaining to these proposed modifications are included in 
the MDP, on file at the Forest Service offices in Silverthorne, 
Colorado and at the Silverthorne and Frisco libraries. The MDP does not 
include expansion of the Forest Service permit boundary, new lifts, new 
ski terrain,or an increase in capacity or skiers-at-one-time (SAOT).
    The purpose of and need for the proposed MDP are as follows:
     Update the 1982 Plan which is out-dated (almost 15 years 
old). Most of the improvements described in the 1982 Plan have been 
implemented. In addition, new ski area technologies, planning 
strategies, and environmental philosophies have emerged during this 
time which warrant consideration in an updated plan.
     Increase summer recreational opportunities at A-Basin, 
potentially to include year-round alpine skiing, mountain biking, 
interpretive trails, and an alpine slide. Additional recreational 
opportunities would enhance economic activity and employment within 
Summit County. In addition, providing for increased recreational 
opportunities at A-Basin would be consistent with the White River 
National Forest Plan and Forest Service policies encouraging additional 
opportunities for summer and winter recreation on National Forest 
System land, including the summer use of ski area facilities, where 
     Provide year-round public skiing opportunities and race 
camp experiences for young racers through the employment of snowmaking 
to cover approximately 17% of the developed terrain at A-Basin. It 
would also provide for fall training facilities for the U.S. Ski Team. 
Currently, young racers and U.S. Ski Team members must travel out of 
state or out of the country to obtain appropriate training experiences.
     Update and improve restaurant, parking, patrol 
headquarters, and other facilities at the resort. The proposed facility 
improvements would address current deficiencies and enhance the quality 
and safety of the resort experience at A-Basin.
     Encourage year-round use of the facilities while 
maintaining the resort character.
    The decision to be made is whether or not to approve and accept the 
proposed MDP as a portion of the existing special use permit.
    Preliminary issues associated with the MDP include water quality 
and quantity; instream flow maintenance; fisheries; wetlands; wildlife; 
and recreational compatibility.
    A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ``404 Permit'' for dredging and 
filling waters and/or wetlands may be required. The Forest Service will 
request the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service to cooperate in the environmental analysis, and may request 
cooperation from other State and Federal agencies.
    The Forest Service invites comments and suggestions on the scope of 
the analysis to be included in the draft environmental impact 
statement. In addition, the Forest Service gives notice that it is 
beginning a full environmental analysis and decision-making process for 
this MDP so that interested or affected people may know how they may 
participate in the environmental analysis and contribute to the final 
decision. The public scoping meetings are scheduled for Monday August 
12, 1996 from 7:30-9:30 pm at the Silverthorne Recreation Center, 430 
Rainbow Drive, Silverthorne, Colorado; and Tuesday, August 13, 1996 
from 7:00-9:00 pm at the Forest Service Regional Office, 740 Simms 
Street, Golden, Colorado. The purpose of these meetings is to learn 
what issues and concerns members of the public or interested agencies 
have that are associated with the proposal and should

[[Page 41563]]

be considered. Knowledge of these issues and concerns will help 
establish the scope of the Forest Service environmental analysis and 
define the kind and range of alternatives to be considered. Forest 
Service officials and the proponent will describe and explain the 
proposed actions and the process of environmental analysis and 
disclosure to be followed in evaluating the MDP. The Forest Service 
welcomes any public comments on the MDP.
    The Responsible Official: Sonny LaSalle, Forest Supervisor, White 
River National Forest, P.O. Box 948, Glenwood Springs, CO. 81602.
    We expect to publish the draft environmental impact statement in 
late 1996 or early 1997, to ask for public comment for a period of 45 
days, and to complete a final environmental impact statement in mid 
    The 45-day public comment period on the draft environmental impact 
statement will commence on the day the Environmental Protection Agency 
publishes a ``Notice of Availability in the Federal Register.
    The Forest Service believes it is important to give reviewers 
notice at this early stage of several court rulings related to public 
participation in the environmental review process. First, reviewers of 
draft environmental impact statements must structure their 
participation in the environmental review of the proposal so that it is 
meaningful and alerts an agency to the reviewer's position and 
contentions. Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corp. v. NRDC, 435 U.S. 519, 
553, (1978). Also, environmental objections that could be raised at the 
draft environmental impact statement stage but that are not raised 
until after completion of the final environmental impact statement may 
be waived or dismissed by the courts. City of Angoon v. Hodel, 803 F.2d 
1016, 1022 (9th Cir. 1986) and Wisconsin Heritages, Inc., v. Harris, 
490 F. Supp. 1334, 1338 (E.D. Wis. 1980). Because of these court 
rulings, it is very important that those interested in this proposed 
action participate by the close of the 45-day comment period so that 
substantive comments and objections are made available to the Forest 
Service at a time when it can meaningfully consider them and respond to 
them in the final environmental impact statement.
    To assist the Forest Service in identifying and considering issues 
and concerns on the proposed action, comments on the draft 
environmental impact statement should be as specific as possible. It is 
also helpful if comments refer to specific pages or chapters of the 
draft statement. Comments may also address the adequacy of the draft 
environmental impact statement or the merits of the alternatives 
formulated and discussed in the statement. (Reviewers may wish to refer 
to the Council on Environmental Quality Regulations for implementing 
the procedural provision of the National Environmental Policy Act at 40 
CFR 1503.3 in addressing these points.) Please note that comments you 
make on the draft environmental impact statement will be regarded as 
public information.

    Dated: August 2, 1996.
Veto J. LaSalle,
White River National Forest, Forest Supervisor.
[FR Doc. 96-20325 Filed 8-8-96; 8:45 am]