Mt. Bachelor and Crested Butte Get Green Lights for Master Development Plans

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SAM Magazine--April 10, 2013--Mt. Bachelor, Ore.'s Ski Area Improvement Project was given the green light after no appeals were filed with the Deschutes National Forest during the 45-day appeal period, which ended on April 1, 2013.

The approval initiates the first updated master development plan for Mt. Bachelor in 32 years. The 10-year development plan includes new year-round activities, services and infrastructure.

“This marks the completion of a long process,” says Dave Rathbun, Mt. Bachelor’s president and general manager. “That process involved a tremendous amount of input from a number of people, including the local community, the Forest Service, Cirrus Ecological Solutions and other consultants, and countless hours of planning and hard work by the Mt. Bachelor staff led by Tom Lomax, Director of Mountain Operations. I sincerely thank them all for their commitment and support over these last four years.”

A timetable for when Mt. Bachelor expects to being construction on specific projects in the plan is in development with details expected to be released within the next two weeks.

And for Crested Butte, Colo., the Forest Service has accepted the resort's Master Development Plan, which was submitted in early January, 2013. The plan includes new lifts, upgraded facilities, expanded summer recreation and terrain expansion beyond the ski area's permitted boundaries.

According to published reports, Forest Service acceptance of the MDP is not approval of the proposals. Many of the changes would require intensive environmental review and public scrutiny as it winds through the comprehensive National Environmental Policy Act process.

Much of the resort's Master Development Plan includes previously approved plans, including adding and expanding trails, snowmaking improvements, developing bike parks and zip lines and relocating four chairlifts. The controversial proposal includes plans to expand the resort's terrain beyond the Forest Service permit boundary into the Teocalli drainage. That would require an amendment to the forest plan and a lengthy federal review.