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SAM Magazine—Breckenridge, Colo., Oct. 10, 2012—Two appeals were lodged against the Forest Service decision to allow Breckenridge’s Peak 6 expansion, giving the agency 45 days to respond. The proposed expansion would add 413 acres, much of it designated as intermediate, a six-pack chairlift, fixed-grip chair, and 143 acres of hike-to skiing.

The appeals argue that the project will result in more crowding on the slopes at Breckenridge, and that the proposed intermediate terrain is unsuited for that ability level. While one appeal notes that the Forest Service failed to consider the impact on lynx habitat, the Forest Service has determined that the area in question is not suited for lynx habitat.

“This has been a long process which included an extensive amount of public engagement,” said Scott Fitzwilliams, White River National Forest supervisor. “I am pleased with the final product and I am confident my decision will result in better skier experiences while providing for the protection of natural resources.”

The only bases for an appeal are violation of a legal regulation or policy. Few (if any) appeals have ever reversed a decision made by the Forest Service. If the appeals are rejected, the case could move to Federal District Court, though it’s not clear opponents would take that step.

Officials from the Forest Service declined to comment before the process is complete; the deadine for the written decision is Nov. 23.