Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
Purpose and Need for Action: In November 2011, the National Forest Ski Area Permit Act of 1986 was amended to clarify the authority of the Secretary of Agriculture regarding additional recreational uses of NFS land that is subject to ski area permits, and for other purposes. The Proposed Action was designed in response to the Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act of 2011 (the 2011 Act) which encourages outdoor recreation and enjoyment of nature, harmony with the natural environment, and requires (to the extent practical) that activities shall be located within the developed portions of ski areas.
As a recreation-based economy, the Vail Valley both relies on, and attracts, large numbers of visitors throughout the year, most of which—either knowingly or unknowingly—come to recreate on public lands. These visitors can be broadly placed into two types: (1) Those who are likely to engage in dispersed recreational activities (
The Need for Action is to respond to Vail's proposal to implement activities consistent with the Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act of 2011. Based on the aforementioned information, the Purpose of Action is to:
1. Provide new and innovative forms of year-round, outdoor recreation on NFS land for visitors to the Vail Valley.
2. Utilize existing lift and guest service infrastructure throughout Vail's SUP area to support new recreational activities.
3. Capitalize on the relationship between the WRNF and Vail Resorts to connect people with the natural environment and enhance understanding and appreciation of the purpose and value of public lands.
As a whole and individually, proposed projects have been designed to harmonize with, and benefit from, the natural setting of the NFS lands within Vail's existing Forest Service-administered SUP area. They are designed to both complement and improve the existing non-skiing recreational opportunities that are currently offered on NFS lands at Vail Mountain. All of the proposed projects rely on the Alpine forest setting on NFS lands within the Vail SUP, either because of the natural surroundings (such as the forest canopy) or because of the natural conditions (such as topography and vertical relief).
Due to engineering, planning and resource considerations, the WRNF and Vail are in the process of finalizing many of the proposed project locations and specifics across the project area. While some proposed project locations are considered accurate at this time (
It is important that reviewers provide their comments at such times and in such manner that they are useful to the agency's preparation of the environmental impact statement. Therefore, comments should be provided prior to the close of the comment period and should clearly articulate the reviewer's concerns and contentions.
Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be part of the public record for this proposed action. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered, however.