Alta Ski Area (Alta) submitted a Master Development Plan (MDP) Update to the Forest Service (FS) for their review. The MDP Update is a requirement of our Special Use Permit and is a dynamic and comprehensive planning tool that provides the long-range conceptual framework for the development of the ski area.
The MDP Update:
- Serves as a flexible tool for determining the general location, nature, scope and timing of the development of facilites.
- Is an instrument for recording - 1) already built; 2) approved but not constructed; and 3) future planned facilities.
- Considers capacity and plans for a balance of facilities and services.
- Provides a strategic vision for the resort in terms of market niche and architectural character in a way that integrates National Forest management objectives.
- Covers all of the integrated resort, private and FS land.
- Makes information available for State and local government long-range planning.
MDP Update Acceptance:
The Forest Service evaluated our requests relative to the Forest Plan for compliance and to ensure that critical resource and social issues were addressed. Concurrence by the Forest Service for the vision outlined in the MDP Update leads to the document becoming part of our Special Use Permit.
- Acceptance does not allow projects to be implemented nor does it create an obligation for future FS approval of specific projects.
- The accepted MDP Update serves as the FS's starting point in reviewing project proposals prior to project level analysis, under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
At the end of the review process the FS issued a decision outlining projects they accepted into our MDP. The following is a list of currently accepted projects in Alta`s MDP:
- Micro Hydro Modification to snowmaking system
- Solar power modification to all ski area buildings
- Reshaping the Sunnyside and Snowpine parking lots into one at a better overall elevation Parking places lost over time to mass transit would be replaced, as well as 50 places moved from Wildcat to Sunnyside.
- Building a Wildcat Day Lodge between Collins lift and the Buckhorn
- Install a small tram from Germania Pass to just below the top of Mt. Baldy
- Install avalanche explosive devices on Sugarloaf Mountain and East Castle
- Replace and reconfigure Albion and Sunnyside lifts
- Replace and reconfigure Cecret and Supreme lifts
- Replace Wildcat lift as needed
- Replace Alta Lodge tow as needed
- Construct a new lift (Flora lift) from the bottom of Sugarbowl to the saddle north of the Collins ski patrol building. The lift would replace the East Baldy/Return to Collins road that runs from Sugarloaf lift top to Collins lift top.
- Reworking Devil's Castle road off the top of Supreme to complete one summer groomed run off Supreme
- Continued work on the High Traverse
- Addition to the east end of Alf's restaurant
- Small addition to the west end of Watson Shelter
- Seasonal food and warming yurt on Supreme lift terrain
- Restoration of Lake Flora at the top of Glory Hole. The lake would create water storage for Salt Lake City Water and snowmaking.
Project Review/NEPA Analysis:
From our accepted MDP, Alta can package a group of priority projects that we would like to implement over the next several years and submit them to the FS for analysis, consistent with NEPA. The NEPA analysis will look at all aspects of each priority project and includes a public/skier involvement component to make sure all issues are identified and considered. Alta is currently preparing for this step of the process and it can take from 4 to 18 months, depending on the level of complexity and the potential impacts of the proposed projects. Alta currently does not have a project list submitted for NEPA analysis.
When the NEPA analysis is complete, the FS will issue a Decision. At the end of all the steps, Alta will have a list of approved projects and at that point, can proceed with final and technical project planning and implementation.
Update- May 10, 2016
Alta has submitted projects to the Forest Service for NEPA analysis. The public scoping for those projects can be found at http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/nepa_project_exp.php?project=48903.