Aspen Hits Snag in Burnt Mountain Expansion

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SAM Magazine—ASPEN, Colo., Sept. 14, 2012—A lawsuit by an environmental group has led Aspen Skiing Co. [ASC] to temporarily halt its efforts to add skiing on 230 acres of Burnt Mountain at Snowmass, according to an article in the Aspen Times.

The Ark Initiative filed a suit last week, arguing that the U.S. Forest Service improperly granted permission for Snowmass to begin cutting trees in some areas of the Burnt Mountain terrain. Ark alleges that the disputed terrain is a roadless area and as such is endowed with special protection. Snowmass began removing trees last month after receiving the White River National Forest supervisor's approval.

“At the government's request, the company [ASC] has agreed not to cut any more trees until at least September 28, 2012 to give the court an opportunity to consider a motion for a preliminary injunction, and, in any event, not until the government has provided Plaintiffs with seven days notice of resumption of tree cutting activities,” according to Ark’s motion for a preliminary injunction.

Ark Initiative wants a court hearing as soon as possible on its request for an injunction. ASC filed a request Sept. 11 to intervene in the case, which lists the Forest Service as the defendant.

Ark has been fighting the plan since it was first approved in 2006. Its earlier objections have been turned down by the courts and by the Forest Supervisor.

For more, see the Aspen Times story at