* Clinical Director, Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review, 2000–01. Before attending law school, Mr. Briggs taught skiing for six years in Sun Valley, Idaho. The author would like to thank his wife, Susan Briggs, for her tremendous support and generosity of heart and soul.
1 This Comment uses “skiing” as a generic term to incorporate traditional skiing, snowboarding, and a variety of other winter sports that use ski resorts for recreation.
2 See C. Wayne McKinzie, Note, Ski Area Development After the National Forest Ski Area Permit Act of 1986: Still an Uphill Battle, 12 Va. Envtl. L.J. 299, 302 (1993).
3 See, e.g., Michael Romano, Battle Lines Being Drawn Over National Forest Plan, Denv. Rocky Mtn. News, Dec. 20, 1999, at A5.
4 Deborah Frazier, White River Blues: Forest Service Plans to Restrict Use of Beleaguered Forest, Denv. Rocky Mtn. News, Sept. 12, 1999, at A7.
5 See 16 U.S.C.  528 (1985).
6 See 64 Fed. Reg. 16,450 (1999).
7 16 U.S.C.  497b (1999).
8 See Pat Pfeif, How Skiing Started (visited Mar. 31, 2000) <http://www.vailsoft.com/ museum/historyUS.html>.
9 See id.
10 See id.
11 See id.
12 See id.
13 See Pfeif, supra note 8.
14 See Lee Carlson, Skiing Crossroads, Skiing, Sept. 1997, at 116.
15 See David Dobbs, Downhill Racers: As Big-Time Skiing Consolidates, New Environmental Problems Arise, E, Jan. 11, 1998, at 18. These ski resort conglomerates are: The American Skiing Company, Vail Resorts, Inc., Intrawest, and Booth Creek Ski Holdings, Inc. See Carlson, supra note 14, at 116.
16 See Carlson, supra note 14, at 116.
17 See Dobbs, supra note 15, at 18.
18 See Michael Berry, Corridor of Last Resorts: Sprawling Ski Areas, Wilderness Duel Along I-70, Denv. Post, Dec. 20, 1998 (2d ed.), at I1.
19 See id.
20 See id.
21 See Frazier, supra note 4, at A7.
22 See id.
23 See Penelope Purdy, Plan for White River National Forest Is Wreaking Trouble in Paradise, Denv. Post, Nov. 7, 1999 (2d ed.), at H1.
24 See Romano, supra note 3, at A5.
25 See Berry, supra note 18, at I1; Frazier, supra note 4, at A7.
26 See Berry, supra note 18, at I1. Nationally, ski areas occupy less than one-tenth of one percent of all public lands. See id.
27 See Frazier, supra note 4, at A7.
28 See id.
29 See id.
30 See Romano, supra note 3, at A5. The revision is part of the National Forest Management Act of 1976, which calls for a revised land use plan approximately every 15 years. See 16 U.S.C.  1600 (1994 & Supp. III 1997). Three other national forests in Colorado (Arapaho-Roosevelt, Routt, and Rio Grande) also have new land use plans in the works, but none depart so dramatically from current land-use patterns as that proposed for the WRNF. See Romano, supra note 3, at A5.
31 See Romano, supra note 3, at A5.
32 See Frazier, supra note 4, at A7. At the other extreme is the Forest Service’s Alternative E, which would allow dramatic growth and linking resorts by aerial tramway. See Steve Lipsher, Copper Mountain Resort Not ‘Nave’ About Plan, Denv. Post, Oct. 13, 1999 (2d ed.), at B5. Even resorts see this as unacceptable environmental protection. See id. Environmentalists critical of ski resorts feel Alternative E is nothing more than a “straw man” for the Forest Service to knock down, ultimately aiding ski resorts by making them look reasonable. See id.
33 See Frazier, supra note 4, at A7.
34 See Purdy, supra note 23, at H1.
35 See Frazier, supra note 4, at A7.
36 See Purdy, supra note 23, at H1.
37 See Frazier, supra note 4, at A7.
38 Telephone interview with Scott Reeves, Senior Vice-President of Mountain Operations for American Ski Company’s Mount Snow Resort (Apr. 15, 2000).
39 See id.
40 See id.
41 See id.
42 See Romano, supra note 3, at A5.
43 See id.
44 See id.
45 See id.
46 See id.
47 See Michele Conklin, Three Resorts Oppose White River Planci, Denv. Rocky Mtn. News, Oct. 19, 1999, at B8.
48 See Romano, supra note 3, at A5.
49 See id.
50 See id. For examples of actual conflicts between environmentalists and ski area development projects, see infra section III(C)(2).
51 See McKinzie, supra note 2, at 302.
52 See id. In the east, large amounts of unwanted mountain zones were purchased by the Forest Service in the early twentieth century. See id.
53 See John Fedkiw, U.S. Dep’t of Agriculture, Managing Multiple Uses on National Forests, 1905–1995, at 1 (not dated).
54 See id. at 2.
55 See id. at 2.
56 See id.
57 See id. at 1.
58 See Fedkiw, supra note 53, at 2.
59 See id. Examples of early uses include grazing, summer homes, firewood collection, hunting, flora collection, and rights of way. See id.
60 See McKinzie, supra note 2, at 305.
61 Id.
62 See Fedkiw, supra note 53, at 2.
63 See id.
64 Id. at 3.
65 See id.
66 See id.
67 See Fedkiw, supra note 53, at 3.
68 See id. at 1.
69 See id.
70 See id.
71 See id.
72 See Fedkiw, supra note 53, at 1. MUSYA stated that “National Forests . . . shall be administered for outdoor recreation, range, timber, watershed, and wildlife and fish purposes.” 16 U.S.C.  528 (1988). This has been reaffirmed subsequently in the National Forest Management Act of 1976. See 16 U.S.C.  1600 (1994 & Supp. III 1997); Fedkiw, supra note 53, at 1.
73 See Fedkiw, supra note 53, at 4.
74 See id.
75 See John W. Ragsdale, Jr., National Forest Land Exchanges and the Growth of Vail and Other Gateway Communities, 31 Urb. Law. 1, 4 (1999).
76 See Sierra Club v. Morton, 405 U.S. 727, 748 (1972).
77 See id.
78 See 438 U.S. 696, 713 (1978).
79 See generally Fedkiw, supra note 53.
80 See William E. Shands, Federal Forests: The State of Our Forests, Am. Forests, Nov. 1989, at 22.
81 See id.
82 See Fedkiw, supra note 53, at 24.
83 See id.
84 See id. The 1907 list of special uses included: residences, farms, pastures, corrals, apiaries, dairies, schools, churches, roads, trails, telephone and telegraph lines, stores, sawmills, factories, hotels, stage stations, sanatoriums, camps, wharves, miners’ and prospectors’ cabins, windmills, dipping vats, reservoirs, water conduits, powerhouses and transmission lines, aerial tramways, railroads, and the purchase of sand, stone, clay, gravel, hay, and other products except timber. See id. This list has broadened over time. See id.
85 See id. at 20.
86 See id.
87 See Fedkiw, supra note 53, at 20. The National Park Service was also established at that time. See id.
88 See id. at 21.
89 See id. “Wilderness areas” are classified as areas of 100,000 acres or more, 5000 to 99,999 acres are “wild areas,” areas considered wild but not classified are “primitive areas,” and areas with no road access are “roadless areas.” See id.
90 See id. at 25. In 1905, special use permits totaled 4000. That number grew to 19,000 in 1915, and 44,000 in 1945. See id. at 24.
91 See id. at 34.
92 See Fedkiw, supra note 53, at 29.
93 See id.
94 See id. In 1965, the Forest Service officially established the Recreational Visitor Day, consisting of twelve hours of onsite use by one person as the uniform unit for measurement. Recreational Visitor Days grew from 18 million in 1946 to 46 million in 1955, to 132 million in 1964, to 200 million in 1975, and to almost 350 million in 1995. See id. at 56–57.
95 See id. at 29.
96 See id.
97 See Fedkiw, supra note 53, at 29.
98 See id. at 30–31.
99 See id. at 85.
100 See generally 42 U.S.C.  4332 (1988). NEPA, the first major modern environmental legislation, requires federal agencies to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) for federal actions, including federal funding or authorization of private actions, which threaten to significantly affect the quality of the human environment. See id.
101 See Fedkiw, supra note 53, at 85.
102 See id. at 119.
103 See id.
104 Id. at 125.
105 See id. at 119.
106 See generally National Forest Management Act, 16 U.S.C.  1600 (1994 & Supp. III 1997). “The National Forest Management Act and its implementing regulations require the United States Forest Service to manage the national forests’ biodiversity based on a set of science-based management prescriptions.” Greg D. Corbin, Comment, The United States Forest Service’s Response to Biodiversity Science, 29 Envtl. L. 377, 377 (1999).
107 See Fedkiw, supra note 53, at 189.
108 See id.
109 See id.
110 See id. at 196.
111 See id. at 193. Senator Hubert Humphrey hoped “forest managers could practice forestry in the forest and not in the courts.” Id.
112 See Fedkiw, supra note 53, at 192. See generally Robertson v. Seattle Audubon Soc’y, 503 U.S. 429 (1992).
113 See Fedkiw, supra note 53, at 193.
114 See id. at 275.
115 See id.
116 See id.
117 See id. at 276.
118 See Fedkiw, supra note 53, at 275.
119 See supra section II(b)(1). Permits are not required for individual recreational uses such as hiking, camping, picknicking, fishing, hunting, horse riding, or boating unless it is a group event. See c934 ALI-ABA 129, 134.
120 See generally McKinzie, supra note 2.
121 See id. at 299.
122 See id. at 300. This resort was Silver Mountain in Idaho, which was built on the sight of an existing ski area in an economically depressed area. See id. In addition, prior to the 1970s, the process moved much quicker: in 1961, Alpine Meadows filed its application in the spring and was operating by the fall. See id.
123 See id. at 308.
124 See id.
125 See McKinzie, supra note 2, at 309.
126 See id. at 310–11 (citation omitted).
127 See ALI-ABA, supra note 118, at 133.
128 See Sierra Club v. Hickel, 433 F.2d 24, 35 (9th Cir. 1970), aff’d on other grounds sub nom., Sierra Club v. Morton, 405 U.S. 727 (1972); Wilson v. Block, 708 F.2d 735, 759 (D.C. Cir. 1983).
129 See 16 U.S.C.  497(b)(2), (3) (1988); McKinzie, supra note 2, at 311. The normal duration of a special use permit does not exceed thirty years, however ski area permits receive special consideration because of the magnitude of capital investments, provided those investments are directly related to development and not ongoing operation and maintenance costs. See ALI-ABA, supra note 119, at 137–38.
130 ALI-ABA, supra note 119, at 138 (citing 36 C.F.R.  251.57(a)).
131 See id. (citing 36 C.F.R.  251.57(b)).
132 Id. (citing 36 C.F.R.  251.57(h)).
133 See Meadow Green-Wildcat Corp. v. Hathaway, 936 F.2d 601, 602, 609–10 (1st Cir. 1991).
134 16 U.S.C.  497(b)(5).
135 See McKinzie, supra note 2, at 310 n.66. In 1992, Colorado’s Berthoud Pass’s permit was revoked for nonconformance with permit conditions despite twenty-eight remaining years on the permit term. See id. (citation omitted).
136 See id. at 299.
137 See id. at 299, 311.
138 See id. at 313.
139 See id.; see also Forest Service Manual  2703 (1992).
140 See McKinzie, supra note 2, at 313.
141 Forest Service Manual  2703.2 (1992).
142 Id.
143 See McKinzie, supra note 2, at 314.
144 Forest Service Manual  2703.3 (1992).
145 See McKinzie, supra note 2, at 314.
146 See id.
147 Forest Service Manual  2712.4 (1992).
148 See id.
149 See McKinzie, supra note 2, at 316.
150 See id. (citation omitted).
151 See id.
152 See supra note 100 and accompanying text.
153 See McKinzie, supra note 2, at 317.
154 See id. at 317–18.
155 See id. at 318; Methow Valley Citizen’s Council v. Regional Forester, 833 F.2d 810, 814 (9th Cir. 1987), rev’d on other ground sub nom., Robertson v. Methow Valley Citizen’s Council, 490 U.S. 332 (1989). Previously, the grant or denial of a special use permit was considered wholly discretionary, since the Secretary is “authorized,” but not required to issue permits. See ALI-ABA, supra note 119, at 135 (citation omitted).
156 See McKinzie, supra note 2, at 299.
157 See Dobbs, supra note 15, at 18.
158 See id.
159 See id.
160 See id.
161 Interview with Susan Briggs, Former Assistant to the Mountain Manager of American Ski Company’s Sugarbush Resort (Jan. 7, 2000).
162 See Dobbs, supra note 15, at 18.
163 See McKinzie, supra note 2, at 323. In Colorado alone, the recreational job base is 4 billion dollars annually. See id. at 324.
164 See Ken Castle, Myth Busting, Ski, Dec. 1999, at 142 [hereinafter Castle, Myth Busting].
165 See id.
166 See id.
167 See Dobbs, supra note 15, at 18.
168 See id.
169 See id.
170 See id.
171 See Castle, Myth Busting, supra note 164, at 142.
172 See id.
173 See Dobbs, supra note 15, at 18.
174 See McKinzie, supra note 2, at 323.
175 See Dobbs, supra note 15, at 18.
176 See Castle, Myth Busting, supra note 164, at 142.
177 See id.; Berry, supra note 18, at 11.
178 See Dobbs, supra note 15, at 18.
179 See id.
180 See Ken Castle, The End of Skiing as We Know It?, Ski, Nov. 1999, at 118.
181 See id.
182 See Lito Tejada-Flores, Green vs. Growth, Skiing, Dec. 1999, at 150.
183 See Sierra Club v. Morton, 405 U.S. 727, 729 (1972).
184 See id. at 729–30.
185 See id. at 730.
186 See id. at 741 (holding that Sierra Club lacked standing to maintain the action).
187 See Tejada-Flores, supra note 182, at 150.
188 See, e.g., Robertson v. Methow Valley Citizen’s Council, 490 U.S. 332 (1989). The Supreme Court held that NEPA did not require a fully developed mitigation plan in the EIS, and did not impose a duty on an agency to consider a worst-case scenario in its analysis. See id. at 359. This decision has been criticized as weakening the power of NEPA to achieve “significant substantive goals for the nation.” See Jennifer Bartlit, An Adequate EIS Under NEPA: Deference to CEQ; Merely Conceptual Listing of Mitigation Leads Us to a Merely Conceptual National Environmental Policy, 31 Nat. Resources J. 653, 653–54. Recently in Oregon, EPA attacked the proposed $37 million Pelican Butte Ski Area’s EIS as failing to fully detail potential environmental consequences, weakening the chances that the resort would be built. See Beth Quinn, Facing Federal Snags, Oregon Ski Resort Proposal Takes Big Tumble, The Oregonian, Mar. 5, 1999, available in 1999 WL 16644258.
189 See Perri Knize, Not in My Backyard, Sports Illustrated, Nov. 28, 1994, at 129.
190 See John Accola, Builder Gets First Permits for Lake Catamount Resort, Denv. Rocky Mtn. News, Aug. 7, 1999, available in 1999 WL 6656963.
191 See id.
192 See Knize, supra note 189, at 129.
193 See Ken Castle, Skiing and the Environment, Part I: The Battle Lines are Drawn, Ski, Nov. 1999, at 118, 120 [hereinafter Castle, Battle Lines].
194 See id.
195 See id.
196 See id. These tripods are well known for their use to stop logging trucks in the Pacific Northwest. See id.
197 See id.
198 See Castle, Battle Lines, supra note 193, at 120.
199 See id.
200 See id. at 120, 122.
201 See id. at 122.
202 See id. A woman, who calls herself “Moonshadow” positioned herself in a tree in such a way that it took Vail security twelve hours to remove her. She brought plenty of cellular telephone batteries and gave live reports to the media throughout the ordeal. See id.
203 See Castle, Battle Lines, supra note 193, at 122.
204 See Colorado Envtl. Coalition v. Dombeck, 185 F.3d 1162, 1165 (10th Cir. 1999). The Tenth Circuit held that the NFMA did not require the Forest Service to compile hard lynx population data, and that the project satisfied the requirements of NEPA. See id. at 1165.
205 See Castle, Battle Lines, supra note 193, at 122.
206 See id.
207 See id. at 126, 128.
208 See id.
209 See id. at 124.
210 See Castle, Battle Lines, supra note 193, at 124.
211 See id.
212 See id.
213 See id.
214 See id. at 128.
215 See Castle, Battle Lines, supra note 193, at 128 (citation omitted).
216 See Tina Gianquitto, Ski Industry Puts Green Schemes into Practice, STN, Jan. 1993, at 44.
217 See id. (citation omitted).
218 See McKinzie, supra note 2, at 325.
219 See Gianquitto, supra note 216, at 44.
220 See Castle, Myth Busting, supra note 164, at 142.
221 See id.
222 See id.
223 See Gianquitto, supra note 216, at 44.
224 See Castle, Myth Busting, supra note 164, at 142.
225 See id.
226 See Castle, Mitigation Over Litigation, Ski, Dec. 1999, at 134 [hereinafter Castle, Mitigation].
227 See id.
228 See id.
229 See id.
230 See id.
231 See Castle, Mitigation, supra note 226, at 134.
232 See id.
233 See id.
234 See Gianquitto, supra note 216, at 44.
235 See McKinzie, supra note 2, at 322–23.
236 See id.
237 See id.
238 See id.
239 See Castle, Mitigation, supra note 226, at 134.
240 See id.
241 See id.
242 See id.
243 See id. The Long Trail is a hiking trail that runs the length of Vermont from the Massachusetts border to the Canadian border. See id.
244 See id.
245 See Dobbs, supra note 15, at 18.
246 See Tejada-Flores, supra note 182, at 156.
247 See Rena I. Steinzor, Reinventing Environmental Regulation: The Dangerous Journey from Command to Self-Control, 22 Harv. Envtl. L. Rev. 103, 103 (1998).
248 See id. at 104, 113–14.
249 See id. at 144; Rachael Salcido, Note, Project XL and the South Coast Air Quality Management Proposal, 22 Environs Envtl. L. and Pol’y J. 3, 5 (1998).
250 See Project XL: From Pilot to Practice 2 (Envtl. Protection Agency Office of Reinvention ed. 1999).
251 See Bradford C. Mank, The Environmental Protection Agency’s Project XL and Other Regulatory Reform Initiatives: The Need for Legislative Authorization, 25 Ecology L.Q. 1, 8 (1998).
252 See Project XL: From Pilot to Practice, supra note 250, at 1.
253 See 64 Fed. Reg. 16,450 (1999).
254 Project XL: From Pilot to Practice, supra note 250, at 1.
255 See Thomas E. Caballero, Project XL: Making it Legal, Making it Work, 17 Stan. Envtl. L.J. 399, 402–03 (1998).
256 See Project XL: From Pilot to Practice, supra note 250, at 2.
257 See Mank, supra note 251, at 3.
258 See id. at 4.
259 See Caballero, supra note 255, at 401.
260 See 64 Fed. Reg. 16,450 (1999).
261 See Project XL: Frequently Asked Questions (visited Feb. 23, 2000) <http://www.epa. gov/ooaujeag/projectxl/faqs.htm> [hereinafter Project XL: FAQ].
262 See id.
263 See id.
264 See EPA, Project XL: 1999 Comprehensive Report, 65 n.13 (Envtl. Protection Agency Office of the Administrator ed. 1999).
265 See id. at 64. There are three categories of stakeholder involvement: (1) direct participants, who are involved at the day-to-day level, and who strongly influence the details of a project and EPA’s ultimate decision to approve the project; (2) commentators, who have interest, but participate through written or oral communications to EPA; and (3) the general public, including local citizens and national interest groups, who are involved by having full access to project designs and environmental results. See Project XL: FAQ, supra note 261.
266 See Project XL: FAQ, supra note 261.
267 See Project XL: From Pilot to Practice, supra note 250, at 10.
268 See id.
269 See Project XL: FAQ, supra note 261.
270 See id.
271 See id.
272 See Salcido, supra note 249, at 12.
273 See Project XL: FAQ, supra note 261. While Project XL covers individual facilities, sectors, or government agencies, Project XLC covers community applicants, which are local government, regional area consortia or governments, neighborhood and community organizations, empowerment zones and enterprise communities, community development corporations, and other local entities. Under Project XLC, an applicant must also develop strategies that present economic opportunity, and incorporate community planning with full support of state, local, and tribal governments. See id.
274 See Project XL: FAQ, supra note 261.
275 See Project XL: From Pilot to Practice, supra note 250, at 3.
276 See id.
277 See id. EPA also says that Project XL is changing its internal culture. See id.
278 See EPA, Project XL: 1999 Comprehensive Report, supra note 264, at 48.
279 See id. Permits usually contain some combination of limits on emissions and effluents, rules for monitoring, reporting, and record keeping, rules for treatment and control technology, management practices, and pollution prevention requirements. See id.
280 See id.
281 See id.
282 See id. at 59.
283 Project XL: 1999 Comprehensive Report, supra note 264, at 59.
284 See id.
285 See Project XL: From Pilot to Practice, supra note 250, at 10.
286 Project XL: 1999 Comprehensive Report, supra note 264, at 59.
287 See Caballero, supra note 255, at 451.
288 See id.
289 See id.
290 See Mank, supra note 251, at 4–5.
291 See id. at 88.
292 See Salcido, supra note 249, at 12.
293 See id. at 13.
294 See Project XL: FAQ, supra note 261.
295 See id.
296 See Salcido, supra note 249, at 13.
297 See id. at 13, 17. For a more detailed description of Project XL’s legal status, see generally Mank, supra note 251; Benjamin Starbuck Wechsler, Rethinking Reinvention: A Case Study of Project XL, 5 Envtl. L. 255 (1998).
298 See Caballero, supra note 255, at 452.
299 See EPA, Project XL: 1999 Comprehensive Report, supra note 264, at 7.
300 See id.
301 See Project XL: From Pilot to Practice, supra note 250, at 6.
302 See id.
303 See id. at 7.
304 See id.
305 See Tejada-Flores, supra note 182, at 150.
306 See Castle, Battle Lines, supra note 193, at 124 (citing Steve Odell, specialist in resource law and former member of the Justice Department).
307 See id. at 120.
308 See Berry, supra note 18, at I1.
309 See McKinzie, supra note 2, at 310–11.
310 See Castle, Battle Lines, supra note 193, at 118, 124.
311 See Frazier, supra note 4, at A7.
312 See Romano, supra note 3, at A5.
313 See id.
314 See Fedkiw, supra note 53, at 275–76.
315 See 64 Fed. Reg. 16,450 (1999).
316 See Castle, Mitigation, supra note 226, at 134.
317 See Dobbs, supra note 15, at 18.
318 See EPA, Project XL: 1999 Comprehensive Report, supra note 264, at 64.
319 See 64 Fed. Reg. 16,450 (1999).
320 See supra section IV(B)(3); Castle, Mitigation, supra note 226, at 134.
321 See Castle, Mititgation, supra note 226, at 134.
322 See Project XL: FAQ, supra note 261.
323 See id.
324 See Gianquitto, supra note 216, at 44.
325 See McKinzie, supra note 2, at 322–23.
326 See Frazier, supra note 4, at A7.
327 See supra section I(B)(2).
328 See Frazier, supra note 4, at A7; Castle, Myth Busting, supra note 164, at 142.
329 See McKinzie, supra note 2, at 308–09.
330 See id. at 314.
331 See id.; see also supra section III(A).
332 See EPA, Project XL: 1999 Comprehensive Report, supra note 264, at 48.
333 See id.
334 See ALI-ABA, supra note 118, at 133.
335 See Project XL: Comprehensive Report, supra note 264, at 7.
336 See Sierra Club v. Morton, 405 U.S. 727, 748 (1972); Mank, supra note 251, at 88.
337 See Mank, supra note 251, at 88.
338 See McKinzie, supra note 2, at 310 n.60.
339 See Project XL: From Pilot to Practice, supra note 250, at 3.
340 See Romano, supra note 3, at A5.
341 See supra section IV(B)(3).