BEND, Ore., Feb. 9, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Mt. Bachelor has received notification from the Deschutes National Forest of official acceptance by the United States Forest Service of the resort's updated Master Development Plan (MDP). Reaching this point in the MDP process represents a significant milestone for Mt. Bachelor and the conclusion of the resort's evaluation and planning process for improvement projects envisioned for the next ten years. Mt. Bachelor has been actively engaged since July, 2008 with the Forest Service and other local and state agencies, key stakeholder groups including local business and environmental leaders, recreation user groups, elected officials, and the public at large to discuss goals, needs and possible solutions for consideration in Mt. Bachelor's first full master plan update since its original MDP was approved by the Forest Service in 1981.
From this point forward, Mt. Bachelor's MDP is considered by the Forest Service as a proposal for the actions and projects outlined in the plan; no project or improvement described in the MDP has been authorized or approved by the USFS at this time. Prior to receiving approval or authorization, each proposed action is required to undergo environmental analysis as prescribed by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The USFS will manage the NEPA process moving forward, including additional public comment periods and preparation of all documents. Under a third-party contract, the USFS and Mt. Bachelor have mutually agreed to retain Cirrus Ecological Solutions of Logan, Utah to assist in the NEPA process. Cirrus has extensive NEPA experience and has performed similar duties for other companies and national forests throughout the west.
The Master Development Plan accepted by the USFS proposes winter and summer recreation improvements within Mt. Bachelor's existing special use permit area, including a new lift and ski trails east of the Rainbow Chair, a new base lodge, parking lot, learning area with multiple carpet-conveyor lifts and Kids Adventure Zone at the Sunrise base area, relocation of the tubing hill, expanded family snow play area and new Nordic trail all located in the West Village base area, and additional summer activities and amenities such as downhill mountain biking served by the Pine Marten Express, a new hiking trail and canopy zip line tour course between Pine Marten and West Village lodges. The complete list of proposed actions and projects will be announced in partnership with the Forest Service's NEPA process team.
"Many master plan concepts have been developed over the years for Mt. Bachelor," said Dave Rathbun, President and General Manager of Mt. Bachelor. "The thorough review and public comment process we followed with our team, the Forest Service and many, many key users and stakeholders over the last 2 ½ years resulted in the creation of a thoughtful and considerate plan for the future. As excited as we are today about the Forest Service accepting the plan, we know the process has only just begun. We encourage everyone with an interest in Mt. Bachelor's future as a desirable and viable recreation area to stay informed and involved as the Forest Service initiates the NEPA analysis process."
About Mt. Bachelor: Mt. Bachelor is the largest ski resort in the Cascade Range, offering 3,683 acres of lift-accessible terrain. The mountain features 10 lifts, seven of which are Express Quads, plus two tubing lifts and two beginner carpets and an average annual snowfall of 370 inches. Mt. Bachelor also features 5 terrain parks, 2 half pipes, 56K of groomed and tracked cross country trails, snowshoeing, tubing, sled dog rides and summer attractions. For weather conditions, news and events visit www.mtbachelor.com.
About Cirrus Ecological Solutions, L.C.: Cirrus is a Logan, Utah, based consulting firm providing a wide range of natural resource and environmental planning and permitting services. These include comprehensive environmental compliance assistance, environmental impact assessment, biological inventory and analysis, physical resource inventory and analysis, and natural resource management and planning. www.cirruses.com
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