Project review open for Mt. Rose expansion

Courtesy Mt. Rose

Humboldt-Toiyabe National Foresthas released the Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe Atoma Area Expansion draft Record of Decision and final Environmental Impact Statement for a 45-day formal objection period, according to a press release. The proposal is to expand the ski resort adding two chairlifts, 11 new trails and a skier bridge to cross Highway 431.

Objections will be accepted only from people who have previously submitted specific written comments regarding the proposed project during scoping or other designated comment periods.

The selected Alternative 3 amends Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe’s existing special-use permit by approximately 112 acres to incorporate a portion of the Atoma area located on the north side of Nevada State Route 431 or Mount Rose Highway. This alternative allows the ski resort to build two chairlifts, 11 new ski trails and restroom in the Atoma area; a skier bridge across the highway to connect the main ski area to the new terrain; a water pipeline to provide new snowmaking coverage; and a five-million-gallon water tank to support snowmaking.

View a map of the project area

A Forest Plan Amendment is also a part of Alternative 3. It will restrict any future development of commercial uses on approximately 3,446 acres of National Forest Service lands in the area known as Galena Land Exchange with the exception of the 112-acre Atoma and 168-acre Chutes areas.

Additionally, Alternative 3 improves the quality of the ski area’s winter sports offerings on forest lands and enhances the recreation experience for skiers, while minimizing environmental and human impacts. This alternative also addresses impacts to white bark pine, a candidate species under the Endangered Species Act, by reducing the footprint of the water storage tank and avoids impacts to wetlands and perennial streams by focusing trails in the Atoma area on existing road alignments and in natural openings.

Electronic objections must be submitted in a format such as an e-mail message, pdf, plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), or Word (.doc) to [email protected]. Please put “Mt. Rose Atoma” into the subject line. Facsimiles can be sent to (801) 625-5277.

For more information on this project, contact Marnie Bonesteel, Team Leader, at (775) 352-1240 or [email protected].

The draft ROD and final EIS are available at fs.usda.gov/project/?project=41487.