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Appeal filed on Breckenridge Peak 6 expansion

Critics claims Forest Service approval violates regulations and environmental laws

Critics have appealed the Forest Service approval for the Peak 6 expansion at Breckenridge Ski Area. Map courtesy US Forest Service.

More stories:

Summit Voice Peak 6 page, with background stories

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Critics of the controversial Peak 6 expansion and Breckenridge Ski Area have formally appealed White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams approval of the project, charging that the agency violated its own regulations and federal environmental laws, including the Endangered Species Act.

The appeal was delivered to the agency’s regional headquarters last week. Forest Service officials have 45 days to respond to the appeal, which was signed by 45 entities, including numerous Breckenridge residents, along with local, statewide and regional conservation groups. Read the appeal here. Continue reading

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Breckenridge: Peak 6 comment period winding down

A flow chart shows the timeline of the Peak 6 decision-making process. Click on the image to see a full-size version.

Long-term ski area growth questions linger

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — After two extensions, a public comment period on the proposal to add several hundred acres of new lift-served terrain at Breckenridge is coming to an end Aug 26, and the Peak 6 expansion is no less controversial now than when it was first proposed publicly in 2008.

The public debate about the expansion shows how ski communities in general are divided on ski area growth. There is strong support for the expansion plan from part of the town’s business community, including the Breckenridge Restaurant Association and some other ski-related businesses. Other residents feel strongly that the resort is big enough and that additional growth will undermine quality of life in the community.

Resort leaders say the plan to add new terrain served by a six-seat chair will help disperse skiers and riders across Colorado’s busiest ski area, easing congestion on existing lifts and trails. Critics of the plan say it will attract more visitors, ultimately resulting in even more crowding, both on the mountain and in the town.

There’s still time to get informed about the proposal by visiting the official Peak 6 website, which offers great access to information about the project and links for submitting comments. You can also read background stories on Peak 6 and listen to several town council discussions about the project by visiting the Summit Voice Peak 6 page. Continue reading

Breckenridge Ski Area details Peak 6 expansion plan

Proposed Peak 6 expansion detailed on Twitter

SUMMIT COUNTY — A proposed expansion of Breckenridge Ski Area would add about 550 total acres, including 339 acres above treeline and 68 acres of developed trails, 339 acres above-treeline and 68 acres of cleared trails.

The resort outlined its proposal at at June 2 open house, expecting that the U.S. Forest Service will release a draft environmental study in mid-June.

The resort publicized the open house from its @breckenridgemtn Twitter account. Here’s how it went down on Twitter in the world according to Vail Resorts. These are selected tweets; you can see the full tweet stream here.

You can find all previous Summit Voice stories about the Peak 6 expansion here: http://summitcountyvoice.com/breckenridge-peak-6-expansion/.

In pre-emptively addressing community feedback that calls on Breckenridge to make other infill-type developments in the existing ski area footprint, resort chief Pat Cambell said she thinks Peak 6 is the “highest priority” … to enhance guest experiences.”

The resort is maintaining a Support Peak 6 Facebook page, and opponents of the expansion also have their own Facebook presence on a Save Peak 6 page.

If you’d like to respond to any of the specific tweets with your own, direct them to @bberwyn on Twitter and we’ll insert them in the appropriate spot, or send an email to bberwyn@comcast.net. You can also leave a comment at the Summit Voice Facebook page.

https://twitter.com/#!/breckenridgemtn/status/76081455314370560 Continue reading

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