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The environment desk at Aspen Public Radio covers issues in the Roaring Fork Valley and throughout the state of Colorado including water use and quality, impact of recreation, population growth and oil and gas development. APR’s Environment Reporter is Elizabeth Stewart-Severy.

Forest Service identifies environmental impacts of Snowmass plans

Courtesy of aspensnowmass.com

The U.S. Forest Service has released a draft environmental impact statement for new recreation opportunities at Snowmass ski area. The proposed projects would significantly add to summer recreation on the mountain.


The planned activities are in the Elk Camp area and include a mountain coaster, a canopy tour and zipline, ropes course, climbing wall and new hiking and biking trails.

The environmental impacts could include damage to wildlife habitat, erosion and noise, among other factors. Roger Poirier, Forest Service mountain sports manager, said the agency is rethinking how to use ski areas to attract a wide variety of users, rather than just skiers and snowboarders.

There will be an open house at the Treehouse Kids Adventure Center on Dec. 13, and the public can submit comments until early January. A final decision is expected in the spring.

Aspen native Elizabeth Stewart-Severy is excited to be making a return to both the Red Brick, where she attended kindergarten, and the field of journalism. She has spent her entire life playing in the mountains and rivers around Aspen, and is thrilled to be reporting about all things environmental in this special place. She attended the University of Colorado with a Boettcher Scholarship, and graduated as the top student from the School of Journalism in 2006. Her lifelong love of hockey lead to a stint working for the Colorado Avalanche, and she still plays in local leagues and coaches the Aspen Junior Hockey U-19 girls.
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