SANTA FE, N.M. — The acting supervisor of the Carson National Forest in northern New Mexico has approved expansion of the Taos Ski Valley, including the addition of two new lifts.
The Amigos Bravos environmental group has previously raised concerns about the long-planned project.
Here is the news release from the Forest Service:
Acting Forest Supervisor Diana Trujillo has signed the Record of Decision for Taos Ski Valley’s Phase I projects in the Ski Area’s 2010 Master Development Plan.
The ROD approves alternative 2, which includes the following:
· installation of two new lifts, Main Street and Ridge Lifts, to access popular high alpine terrain;
· upgrades to Lifts 4, 5, and 7 to reduce ride times and lift-line waits;
· thinning to provide two new gladed areas, Wild West and Minnesotas Glades, for advanced intermediate to expert skiers;
· constructing a permanent tubing facility on Strawberry Hill;
. establishing a snowshoe trail system;
· and developing a lift-served mountain bike trail to be available during the summer.
Reconfiguration of the parking lots and the development of a new drop-off area will improve the sense of arrival and improve the flow of traffic. All projects will be within TSV’s special use permit area authorized by the Forest Service.
“I am confident that, collectively, the projects approved will help Taos Ski Valley to reclaim its competitive standing in the Rocky Mountain region,” Trujillo said. “Taos Ski Valley is unique in the ski industry, where it is renowned for steep, adventurous terrain, and uncrowded slopes,” she said.
“The ski area’s abundance of ‘undeveloped’ terrain has truly defined its niche in a competitive and constantly evolving ski industry.”
Taos Ski Valley, Inc. was founded by Ernie Blake when he opened one lift on private land in 1955. By 1957, the ski area expanded onto the Carson National Forest. Taos Ski Valley, Inc., is still run by the Blake family and currently operates under a ski area permit on 1,268 acres of National Forest System lands. The 2010 MDP replaced a 30-year-old plan. It is designed to improve efficiencies and the recreational experience, as well as help TSV remain competitive in the ski industry by retaining guests and attracting new visitors.
The Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision and Record of Decision can be reviewed online at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/carson.