Grand Targhee Resort is seeking approval for a major and problematic expansion proposed in their 2018 Master Development Plan. The Caribou-Targhee National Forest (CTNF) is evaluating the proposal through an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) as a part of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. The proposal would impact the local wildlife, public lands, economy, housing, and community of Teton County WY and Teton Valley ID. Targhee is proposing ~900 acres of boundary expansion towards the Jedediah Smith Wilderness Area, which is critical habitat for isolated populations of bighorn sheep and grizzly bears and within the Canada lynx area of influence. The expansion would more than double the amount of skier capacity (from 3,000 to ~6,200 skiers/day) and compound pressure on housing, transportation, emergency and medical responders, local infrastructure, and natural resources…
…but this expansion is not inevitable.
Between August and October, 2020, the Caribou-Targhee National Forest opened the Grand Targhee 2018 Master Development Plan Projects to the NEPA process, beginning with a public scoping comment period. During the scoping period, 385 comments were submitted to the Forest Service project website, raising concerns ranging from scenic viewshed to socio-economic issues, and regional transportation to wildlife impacts. Over the last year, SE Group (the consultant hired by the Forest Service to write the EIS) has been reviewing the scoping comments and preparing the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).
The release of the DEIS evaluating the expansion proposal has been pushed back to late spring/early summer of 2022. The Forest Service recently released a number of changes to the proposed expansion following the public scoping period in response to concerns within the Forest Service and from the public, as well as a FAQ explaining the updates. After the DEIS is released, the public will have a 90-day minimum period to provide comment before the draft is finalized. The DEIS comment period is the most important opportunity for community members to raise concerns not addressed in the Environmental Impact Statement or highlight important issues with the existing draft.
As we await the DEIS, we have the opportunity to learn more about the proposal, the impacts it may have, and ways to proactively engage with and be involved with the NEPA process (to learn more about the NEPA and EIS process, see the consultants’ StoryMap here.)
How You Can Get Involved
The Alliance hopes to facilitate a grassroots coalition campaign to encourage inclusive public engagement throughout the NEPA process on the Targhee expansion. By learning more about this issue and engaging at public comment opportunities, you can contribute to community driven change in our neighborhoods, wild lands, and the places we call home. The next opportunity to get involved in the EIS process will be providing comment after the DEIS is released; however, there will be opportunities to engage workshops, meetings, and outreach in the meantime to prepare for its release.
Make a contribution in support of this campaign and our work, and sign up below to receive the Alliance’s Targhee expansion updates.Donate to the Campaign
Opportunities for Future Public Comment
- Teton County, Idaho Board of County Commissioners Town Hall #2 (Date TBD)
- Caribou-Targhee National Forest Draft EIS Comment Period (90 days following publication of DEIS)
- Teton County, Wyoming approvals by Planning and Zoning and/or Board of County Commissioners for base area development (design review, amendments)
- This will happen in phases, and in some cases will require board approval – each time there is a trigger within the PUD, there will be an opportunity for public comment and review.
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Resources and Media
Additionally, with the approval of the Forest Service, SE Group has developed a website that further outlines the EIS project, addresses FAQ’s, houses relevant documents, and provides updates on the process.
Save Teton Canyon is a group of Teton Valley, Idaho; Teton County, Wyoming; and nationwide citizens concerned with ‘preserv[ing] the culture, community, and liveability
of Teton Valley by reining in the expansion of Grand Targhee Resort.’
‘National Forest mulls keeping Targhee ski resort out of beleaguered bighorn sheep range’
January 19, 2022 | Article: Jackson Hole News and Guide
‘Grand Targhee Owner Discusses Proposed Expansion During Town Hall’
December 17, 2021 | Radio Story: Jackson Hole Community Radio
Summary of the Teton County, ID Town Hall Meeting
December 15, 2021 | Alliance Summary
‘Geordie Gillet, Forest Service set to attend Q&A about Targhee expansion’
December 14, 2021 | Article: Jackson Hole News and Guide
Op-Ed: ‘Fighting for the Backcountry and Community Identify as Grand Targhee Proposes Expansion’
November 18, 2021 | Article: Backcountry Magazine
CLI participants lobby County Commissioner to help fund impact stud on proposed Grand Targhee expansion
October 30, 2021 | Alliance Blog
‘County approves contract for Grand Targhee expansion analysis’
October 27, 2021 | Article: Teton Valley News
Grand Targhee seeks to expand – what does that mean for “the quiet side of the Tetons”?
October 1, 2021 | Alliance Blog
Grand Targhee Resort Expansion Updates
September 25, 2021 | Alliance Blog
‘Snow King post-mortem and lessons for Grand Targhee’
September 15, 2021 | Guest Shot: Jackson Hole News and Guide
‘Is Expansion the Salvation of Small Ski Resorts, or Their Demise?’
September 1, 2021 | Article: Ski Magazine
‘Caribou-Targhee NF mulls Grand Targhee’s expansion plan’
September 1, 2021 | Article: Buckrail
‘Teton Valley anxiously awaits Targhee’s fate’
August 4, 2021 | Article: Jackson Hole News and Guide
‘Proposed Grand Targhee Expansion Raises Concerns in Teton Valley’
July 16, 2021 | Radio Story: Jackson Hole Community Radio
‘Grand Targhee, WY Will Only Get 1 of the 3 Proposed Expansion Lifts Due to Avalanche Risk’
July 15, 2021 | Article: Snow Brains
‘Idaho Commissioners ask Teton County, Wyoming for Targhee study’
July 8, 2021 | Jackson Hole News and Guide
‘Grand Targhee Resort Announces Over $20 Million In On And Off Mountain Projects’
April 20, 2021 | Article: Grand Targhee Resort
Formal Request to Drop Interim Cat-Skiing from Project Proposal
January 21, 2021 | Letter: Grand Targhee to Forest Service
Grand Targhee Resort 2018 Master Development Plan
2018 | Planning Document