Snow King expansion now in Forest Service scoping phase

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – The Jackson Ranger District of the Bridger-Teton National Forest is seeking public comment during the scoping period regarding the proposal from Snow King on improvements to the ski area. The proposal presented by Snow King comes after a multi-year public input process that culminated in a facilitated community stakeholder group organized by the Town of Jackson.

Public comment is needed on the issues and alternatives also known as the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). In keeping with the Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act of 2011, the Forest Service established new directives in 2014 that help promote a “wider spectrum of developed recreation opportunities that will encourage more people to enjoy the national forests,” according to US Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell.

Snowmaking coverage for Snow King.

These policy guidelines are expected to open opportunities for ski areas to promote year-round recreation activities that are natural resource-based and that will create additional jobs for communities with ski areas on the National Forests. The 2011 act specifically includes such activities as zip lines, mountain bike terrain parks and trails, disc golf courses and rope courses.

Snow King’s proposal includes projects such as a new ski school/teaching center on the ridgeline west of the Snow King summit, new ski terrain totaling about 97.5 acres (groomed runs and teaching terrain), upgrading the existing Summit lift to a gondola, and upgrading and installation of facilities.

A few of the buildings included in the proposal are a summit restaurant/guest services building and ski patrol facility, a temporary ski patrol building at the top of Cougar lift, an observatory and planetarium at the summit, a wedding venue west of the summit building, and a year-round yurt camp at the southern point of the permit area.

Also included in the analysis will be the front-side mountain bike trails and a backside mountain bike zone, additional hiking trails, and a zip line, among other proposed improvements.

Snow King Mountain phase 2 expansion plans are now released.

Anyone with comments on the proposal is asked to submit them in writing or electronically by September 4, 2018. While comments will be accepted any time during the process, to establish standing for objection eligibility, comments must be received during this designated opportunity to comment, which in this case is 32 calendar days (due to the weekend and a holiday) following the August 3, 2018 publication of notice for the request for comment in the Casper Star-Tribune (newspaper of record).

Bridger-Teton supervisor Tricia O’Connor said, “Our acceptance of Snow King’s master development plan does not predispose the agency to final approval of this project. I will decide whether to authorize any or all of the proposed elements, and with what conditions.”

O’Connor added that her decision will then be documented in a Record of Decision. If it is to authorize Snow King’s proposed project, in whole or in part, BTNF would modify its existing special use permit.

Comments should be addressed as follows.
Attention: Snow King Mountain Resort On-mountain Improvements
Project: Mary Moore, District Ranger, PO Box 1689, Jackson, Wyo 83001.

The office business hours for those submitting hand-delivered comments are 8:00am to 4:30pm, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Electronic comments must be submitted to: comments.

An objection period, if required, will follow the regulation found in §218.7. For objection eligibility (§218.5), only those who have submitted timely, specific written comments during any designated opportunity for public comment may file an objection.

Please state “Snow King Mountain Resort On-mountain Improvements” in the subject line when providing electronic comments. Additional information on the Snow King Mountain Resort On-mountain Improvements Project is also available on the webpage.

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