Carson National Forest is seeking comments on the Draft Environmental Assessment for resort projects that Taos Ski Valley, NM proposed. Comments can be submitted between March 9 and April 9, 2023.
The Forest seeks to authorize the resort to:
- Build a base-to-base gondola.
- Replace lifts 2 and 8.
- Install a new booster station, water tank, and additional snowmaking pipe.
- Develop Nordic and snowshoe trails.
- Build a restaurant near the top of Lift 7.
- Replace and relocate the Whistlestop Café.
- Construct a lift-four hiking trail.
- Create construction and staging areas.
The complete list of proposed projects and their details can be read in the draft assessment and supporting documents, available online and at the Supervisor’s Office in Taos for public inspection.
A public meeting to learn more about the Draft Environmental Assessment and submit written comments will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 23, at the Taos Tent, 7 Thunderbird Road, Village of Taos Ski Valley, NM 87525.
“I know many in the community have eagerly been awaiting the release of the draft assessment,” said Questa District Ranger Adam LaDell. “I hope this helps further the discussion, and I look forward to engaging with the public at the meeting.”
Understanding the Scope of the Proposal
The resort’s operations are partially located on Carson National Forest lands through a special use permit. Locations outside Forest Service land, such as areas within the Village of Taos Ski Valley, NM, are not addressed in the draft environmental assessment.
Similarly, some elements of the proposal are not under Forest Service jurisdiction. These elements include how the resort pays for the projects and water rights, which are adjudicated by the State of New Mexico.
Substantive comments are specific. Examples include providing new information, pointing out flaws in the assessment, making factual corrections, and offering different sources of credible research. Substantive comments submitted during the comment period must be analyzed under the National Environmental Policy Act.
Comments that are not substantive include vague ideas, open-ended questions, and positions in favor or against the proposal without specific reasoning. Commenting is not a voting process; identical comments must be treated as one comment.