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Forest Service releases decision for Heavenly 2012 Capital Projects


usfs-logo-282x300-1105663-6348529South Lake Tahoe, Calif.  –The U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit has released the draft Decision Memo for 2012 Capital Improvement Projects at Heavenly Ski Resort.  Improvements would include trail upgrades, a new surface tow lift, a new Kids Adventure Zone, an outdoor event facility, summer four-wheel drive tours and a new summer hiking trail.  These projects are consistent with the improvements identified in Heavenly’s Master Plan Amendment and are intended to improve the overall quality of the visitor experience.  In addition, these projects provide for high-quality summer recreational uses of National Forest System land as directed by the Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act of 2011.

A surface tow lift is proposed for the Player’s Terrain Park on Upper Powderbowl run to enable users to remain within the park rather than leave it to return to the top.  Portions of the park would be widened to make room for lift installation.  This would require the removal of approximately 60 trees with up to six trees over 24 inches diameter at breast height (dbh).  A Kids Adventure Zone would be built between upper Powderbowl and Mambo runs near the top of the Powderbowl Express lift.  This would provide a resource-based experience for children of all ages to explore the natural landscape while on skis and snowboards, and offer opportunities to learn about the forest and its inhabitants.  An estimated 50 trees would be removed with one tree over 24 inches dbh.  In addition, approximately 750 to 800 feet of the Perimeter Trail would be re-graded in order to eliminate the flat section of the trail near the top of the Galaxy lift.

Summer improvements would include daily tours using four-wheel drive vehicles that would hold up to eight people including a driver/guide.  The tours would pick up and drop off guests near the top of the Tamarack Express lift, the gondola and the Tamarack Lodge.  The tours would utilize the existing summer maintenance road system.  A Class 2 hiking trail would be constructed from the top of the Tamarack Express lift down to the Tamarack Lodge.  The total length of the proposed trail would be approximately 1.7 miles.  An outdoor event facility near the gondola mid-station observation deck would be constructed and used for outdoor weddings, interpretive presentations and other cultural ceremonies.  The size of the facility area would be approximately 3,000 to 3,500 square feet and would include parking and accessibility from the mid-station deck.  Up to five trees would be removed with none over 24 inches dbh.

Work would begin in August 2012, with tree removal performed over the snow next spring after the resort closes for the season.  Work is expected to last through June 2013.

For more information on the proposal, contact Matt Dickinson at (530) 543-2769 or visithttp://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/ltbmu/Heavenly2012.

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