SAM Magazine – Olympic Valley, Calif., Feb. 6, 2020 – The Granite Chief Wilderness Protection League reached an agreement with Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows to dismiss the lawsuit against the approval of the Squaw’s Base-to-Base Gondola. The lawsuit originally challenged the adequacy of the environmental analysis and the County Board of Supervisor’s decision to approve the project.
The approved agreement includes detailed protection measures for the Sierra Nevada Yellow Legged Frog habitat and Granite Chief Wilderness Area. It will also provide funding for conservation of lands and habitat. It also places limits on the gondola operations to mitigate environmental impact on the area and includes signage and strict enforcement of the ski area boundary at the KT-22 mid-station. The gondola will only operate in the winter and have an annual closing date of no later than April 30.
“We are very happy to have worked collaboratively with the League to address their concerns so that resources could be directed to environmentally beneficial purposes, rather than funding an extended lawsuit,” said Ron Cohen, president and chief operating officer of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. “We are eager to get going on this game-changing transportation project. We thank the League for its productive approach to resolving the dispute.”
Once constructed, the Base-to-Base Gondola will connect Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, uniting over 6,000 acres of ski and snowboard terrain.
"Squaw and Alpine are two very different resorts, but one thing they share in common is their guests’ amazing passion for skiing and riding,” Cohen continued. “We look forward to preserving the two unique cultures, while at the same time offering our guests the ability to experience both without having to get in a car or shuttle.”