December 13, 2017
Boulder County, Eldora Mountain Resort, Sierra Club, and Middle Boulder Creek Coalition reach agreement on Eldora Mountain Ski Resort expansion
(Boulder County, Colo.) -- At a public meeting set for 3:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 18, the four parties who have worked collaboratively for the past two years to address the proposed expansion of Eldora Mountain (Ski) Resort will come together to formalize aStatement of Principles that will guide future development and land preservation in and around Eldora Mountain Resort.
Based on direction given by the U.S. Forest Service in 2015, the Statement of Principles was developed in partnership by Boulder County, Eldora Mountain Resort (EMR), the Middle Boulder Creek Coalition, and the Sierra Club Indian Peaks Group (collectively referred to as the "Parties") working together to come to agreement on how best to offer additional recreational opportunities at the ski resort while protecting critical land and animal habitat in the Eldora/Indian Peaks region.
- What: Public Meeting: Review of a Statement of Principles between Boulder County, the Middle Boulder Creek Coalition, Sierra Club Indian Peaks Group and Eldora Mountain Resort regarding future development and land preservation in and around Eldora Mountain Resort.
- When: Monday, Dec. 18, 3:30 p.m.
- Where: Commissioners’ Hearing Room, Boulder County Courthouse, third floor, 1325 Pearl St., Boulder (map and directions)
The Board of County Commissioners praised the efforts of all parties involved and expressed their appreciation for the “win-win” proposal that evolved over an extensive two-year negotiation process and which serves to balance the significant environmental and recreational considerations of the ski resort’s expansion.
“This collaborative agreement is a huge accomplishment for all parties involved and the community at large. The spirit behind this major undertaking proves that diverse groups can come together to develop a plan of action that helps protect our sensitive and vulnerable wilderness areas while also providing additional recreational opportunities at our popular local ski resort. We are proud of the partners who collaborated in this effort and we want to express our gratitude for the cooperation and leadership from Powdr Corp., the new owner of Eldora Mountain Resort. Their willingness to work with Boulder County and the region’s land and wildlife conservation organizations to find common ground on this important matter truly helped make this agreement possible.” – Boulder County Board of Commissioners
Mike Chiropolos, attorney for Middle Boulder Creek Coalition, added, “We appreciate the agreement's recognition of the ecological importance of Boulder's namesake watershed, vital wildlife habitat in our National Forest, and the gateway to Indian Peaks Wilderness. Thanks to POWDR for listening, and to Boulder County for standing tall to protect our environment.”
The parties involved in the development of theStatement of Principles have long recognized a history of land conservation in the upper Middle and South Boulder Creek watersheds, exemplified by actions such as the designation of the Indian Peaks and James Peak Wilderness Areas, protection of the Arapaho and Tolland ranches through conservation easements, and the extensive acquisition of private lands to be managed for conservation by cooperating entities including the U.S. Forest Service, Boulder County, and the Eldora Civic Association.
Specifically, the Statement of Principles recognizes the importance of Middle Boulder Creek for providing wildlife corridor and habitat, wetland and riparian resources, recreational opportunities, and other irreplaceable attributes, and it commits to ensure that Middle Boulder Creek remains a resource available to future generations.
The Statement also will help guide the final configuration the "Jolly Jug" chairlift, terrain, and associated facilities identified in the Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision (ROD) issued by U.S. Forest Service Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland in October 2015.
This Statement of Principles identifies key objectives shared by the signatory Parties, including:
A. The Parties will seek to work collaboratively and constructively on issues relating to EMR that are of interest to the Parties.
B. The Parties agree that EMR is an important amenity to the local communities and Boulder County, and that EMR views regular updating, renovation and improvement of infrastructure and facilities as necessary to compete and endure in the recreation industry.
C. The Parties agree that the overall health of public and private lands and natural resources are important to the local communities and Boulder County.
D. The Parties agree that proposals for improvements will be guided by: (1) sustainability considerations, and (2) avoidance, minimization, and mitigation principles.
E. The Parties agree that Middle Boulder Creek is a significant natural resource area within Boulder County, providing wildlife corridor and habitat, wetland and riparian resources, recreational opportunities for the public, among other irreplaceable attributes, and that the signatory parties are committed to ensure that Middle Boulder Creek remains a resource available to future generations.
F. The Parties understand that Boulder County’s participation and ongoing interest as a stakeholder in recent proceedings before the ARP relating to projects proposed by EMR is outside the scope of any future Boulder County land use review process that EMR will be required to undergo. EMR currently does not have any applications pending with Boulder County.
G. The Parties acknowledge that this Statement of Principles does not bind or encumber the Parties, or preclude any exercise of rights, but rather embodies agreed-upon principles and establishes a framework for stakeholder cooperation.
Representatives from all four parties are expected to attend the public meeting on Dec. 18.
A map depicted below is provided as conceptual only. As noted in the Section IV.A.2 of the Statement of Principles, EMR has proposed a new route as depicted on the conceptual map. Ultimately, Nordic access will be subject to review by a working group that includes representatives of stakeholders, including Boulder County.