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Breckenridge: Peak 6 expansion decision due next month

Forest Service set to make final call on controversial ski area project

Breckenridge Peak 6 expansion proposal map.

A public site visit to the proposed Peak 6 expansion area drew a crowd.

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Federal agencies are on track to release a final environmental study for a controversial ski area expansion at Breckenridge sometime in June, according to White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams.

Click here to see all previous Summit Voice coverage of the Peak 6 process.

Most recently, the Forest Service submitted a biological study focusing mainly on lynx to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for a required consultation under the Endangered Species Act.

Within 120 days, the Fish and Wildlife Service must respond with a formal biological opinion that evaluates and discloses impacts to listed species. The deadline is in early June, and the Fish and Wildlife Service is on track to meet that deadline, said Grand Junction-based USFWS biologist Kurt Broderdorp.

Since the two agencies have been communicating about the Peak 6 project for several years, Broderdorp said the Forest Service study didn’t include any groundbreaking information.

“It’s pretty straigthforward,” Broderdorp said, explaining that his agency must determine whether the proposed action will result in any significant adverse effects to lynx, the powder-loving wild cat that often wanders in the same terrain favored by Colorado skiers — shady, snow-coveredhigh-elevation slopes with thick clumps of spruce and fir trees. Continue reading

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