Forest Service gives initial OK to Heavenly improvements
Proposed improvements to terrain at Heavenly Mountain Resort have been given the initial OK by the U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. However, community members still have an opportunity to raise any objections they may have.
Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU), in coordination with Heavenly, recently issued the draft decision for proposed improvements.
Objections will be accepted from those who submitted project-specific written comments during the designated comment period. Objections must be submitted within 45 days following the publication of the legal notice in the Tribune on Feb. 7.
Proposed improvements include selective widening of ski trails, removing trail obstacles and relocation and/or realignment of some portions of existing snowmaking air and water pipelines to improve user experience, maintain user safety, increase energy and water efficiency, and maintain native species, according to LTBMU.
Ski trail widening to reduce bottlenecks and improve skier flow, would include tree removal and selective boulder relocation on approximately 12 trails, with grading required in two locations to match the widened area to the grade of the existing trail.
Due to the widening, any existing snowmaking lines would be relocated to the new edge of the trail. Removal of obstacles, such as boulders, stumps and logs, would take place on 11 trails to improve natural snow surface coverage.
The proposal to remove trail obstacles was addressed in the Heavenly Ski Resort Master Plan and includes protection of native plants and revegetation, removal of invasive plants, chipping of large woody debris and existing felled trees, stump grinding, and boulder height reduction.
If approved, project work could begin as early as spring or summer.
Project documents can be found at http://bit.ly/2EexQdw.