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First proposed nearly a year ago, Vail Resorts’ 250-acre McCoy Park alpine ski expansion at Beaver Creek received official approval from the U.S. Forest Service on Tuesday. Here’s the press release from the Forest Service:
Forest Service approves McCoy Park Terrain Development project at Beaver Creek
MINTURN, Colo. – After careful consideration of the environmental analysis and public comment, Scott Fitzwilliams, Forest Supervisor and Deciding Official, has issued the final decision on the McCoy Park Terrain Development project at Beaver Creek Resort. The decision authorizes the construction of 250 acres of beginner and low-intermediate ability level ski terrain, two chairlift installations, cross country ski and snowshoe trails, a warming hut, composting toilets, a ski patrol service building, a new service road, and snowmaking to support the egress to the proposed McCoy Park chairlifts.
“The public planning and participation process of this project has resulted in a project with a low-impact design that will provide an improved experience for beginner and intermediate skiers on National Forest Lands at Beaver Creek Resort,” said Scott Fitzwilliams.
The goal of this project is to provide guests with a dedicated beginner and low-intermediate ability level area which offers high-quality snow conditions throughout the season, in an engaging setting that is separated from advanced-ability level terrain. Implementation of the project is expected to begin in the spring of 2019. For more information on the project please contact Rick Truex, Acting District Ranger, 970-827-5150. Project documents are available for download on the White River National Forest website here.
And here’s official comment from Vail Resorts:
“We are very excited to have received U.S. Forest Service approval of our proposal for a family-friendly ski zone on the mountain at McCoy Park, and we want to thank Forest Service officials for their thorough review,” said Beth Howard, vice president and COO of Beaver Creek Resort. “In 2019, we will carefully plan the winter-only, lift-served terrain, allowing us proper time to develop a construction plan to best minimize impacts. (A definitive implementation timeline to come at a later date.) McCoy Park has an amazing natural feel that will be honored. The terrain will be separated from the rest of the mountain so that guests can enjoy a more relaxed beginner and intermediate experience.”
Jim Daus, executive director of the Eagle Valley Land Trust (EVLT), released the following statement, recognizing Beaver Creek’s voluntary work with the Forest Service and Colorado Parks and Wildlife to develop further wildlife enhancement efforts: “Vail Resorts and the Eagle Valley Land Trust have a great history of partnership. With this collaboration, Vail Resorts has once again shown its commitment to conservation as an important part of its overall investment in its local community. Specifically, Vail Resorts will help the land trust protect critical wildlife habitat on properties like the nearby East Lake Creek Ranch.”
Beaver Creek committed to support the EVLT to enhance wildlife habitat in the Eagle River Valley with a voluntary commitment to contribute $50,000 to fund the land trust’s proposed acquisition of a conservation easement on the Scudder-Webster Lake Creek property if and when the U.S. Forest Service authorizes the McCoy Park project and Beaver Creek may implement the authorization. The conservation easement will benefit multiple species, including elk. If the EVLT is not able to acquire the conservation easement within a reasonable time after Beaver Creek makes the contribution, Beaver Creek has committed to work with the land trust to identify a suitable alternative that enhances important wildlife habitat in the Eagle River Valley.