Wolf Creek Ski Area Expansion
Wold Creek Ski Area owners, the Pitcher family, are hoping to expand their current operation by increasing lift lines and amenities while also expanding their turf into two parcels adjacent to their current operational boundary. Both areas on the expansion wish-list are in the San Juan National Forest which is in addition to the Rio Grande National Forest where the current use area is.
The ski company recently conducted a series of public meetings to acquaint the public with potential changes and to receive comments on their proposals. There are currently no official National Forest processes to scrutinize the new proposals and no National Forest meetings are scheduled. A public process conducted by the National Forest agency is necessary for any changes in the current operations.
Of concern not only to the SLV Ecosystem Council, Rocky Mountain Wild and other environmental organizations is the desire of Wolf Creek Ski Area folk's to expand into a part of the San Juan National Forest that is currently within a backcountry roadless area. Development within roadless areas of the National Forest system is contentious and also the subject of litigation. There are two versions of how the inventoried roadless areas are to be managed and what activities are appropriate and allowable. There is a federally mandated roadless rule as well as a roadless area management program sponsored by the state of Colorado.
The final method of roadless area management is currently in the courts. The federal administration also has the option to adopt the Colorado program which many consider less stringent than federal management.
We will keep you posted on the latest news about this issue.