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SAM Magazine-Keystone, Colo., Aug. 17, 2006-White River National Forest Supervisor Maribeth Gustafson has signed a Decision Notice approving the Upper Independence Cat Skiing proposal at Keystone Resort.

Gustafson stated in the Decision Notice, "I believe that the EA has adequately and clearly addressed the issues relevant to the proposal and do not feel that my approval of this project will significantly affect those seeking to enjoy backcountry opportunities. This project will allow guests of the ski area, including backcountry skiers, to enjoy an off-piste experience via snowcat or hiking within a controlled environment."

"Keystone's been considering the expansion of hike-to and snowcat skiing in the north-facing, steeper terrain of Upper Independence Bowl for the past few years," said Chuck Tolton, director of mountain operations for Keystone. "We've seen an increasing demand for the hike-to and snowcat ski experience, and we feel that Upper Independence Bowl will offer a truly extraordinary experience for our guests within the spectacular setting of the White River National Forest."