In case you missed Sunday’s Missoulian story on Snowbowl’s EIS, which is now out for public comment, I’m posting it again here.
Here are some highlights:
- Terrain will nearly double, with most of the expansion creating more intermediate and beginner terrain.
- Ski capacity will increase by nearly a thousand skiers.
- A maintenance shed will be moved to make room for 30 additional parking spaces in the Snowbowl parking lot. Otherwise, the ski resort intends to increase bus services from its parking lot in lower Grant Creek and do a better job plowing the existing parking lot.
- Snowbowl Road is nearly complete, minus installation of a guard rail and some gravel work.
- About 1,000 acres on TV Mountain currently managed for timber harvesting would be designated recreational use upon project approval.
- Most significant environmental impact is potential harm to endangered fisheries habitat that may live in upper Butler Creek. It’s unknown if these fish reside this far up the creek. Snowbowl draws water from Butler Creek for snowmaking and would do so for 19 days longer each winter to accommodate the expansion. To mitigate drawing the water level down to uninhabitable levels, Snowbowl has agreed to install a meter to monitor stream flow in the creek.
A lot of the feedback so far has revolved around the need to fix existing infrastructure before expanding the ski area. The Grizzly chairlift broke down again on Saturday. Missoulian Photographer Linda Thompson was on it and snapped the below photo of a guy getting rope-evac rescued. But a lot of people walked away compensated with free lift tickets.
Here’s the bottom line: If ya have something to say, now is the time to say it. Comment on the EIS. It’s open to the public until April 25 and there’s a public open house on the project March 30 from 5-7 p.m. at the Grant Creek Inn, 5280 Grant Creek Road, Missoula. There, you can learn more information.
Meanwhile, the EIS is posted on the Lolo National Forest website under projects and plans.