You haven’t heard much about Snow King lately, and that’s because we’ve been in a waiting game. Our community spoke up and gave impressive public comment for a balanced future all winter, and in February, our Town Council declined the developers’ request to rubberstamp all their controversial proposals for new amusements and buildings on Forest Service land. (Great decision, Town Council!) (Check out our last big comment letter from before the meeting, and our meeting notes here.)
Since then, the ball has been in the Forest Service’s court as they build their draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). They hired a consultant to analyze potential impacts of the proposal on our community and wildlife, and the Forest Service is preparing “alternatives” ranging from no action to the whole massive development that Snow King’s investors are pushing. Once that’s all ready, the Forest Service will ask for comments from the public, likely in a 45-day window.
The draft EIS is supposed to come out in July, and we’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear more. It looks like there will be a story Wednesday’s News & Guide, so keep an eye out for that too.
In the meantime, check out two new documents just released by the Forest Service: a timeline document outlining their process, and their consultant’s issues document, sharing the issues to be analyzed in the EIS – or to be ignored.
The issues document raises some real concerns right off the bat – first off, the consultant isn’t planning to analyze any impacts on wildlife other than on a very narrow list of species. But we’re withholding judgement until we see the full Draft EIS, their analysis, and the alternatives.
We want Snow King to succeed as our town hill – not an amusement park.