Alternative 3 provides for …
• 660 acres (but ski area would retain extensive development rights within the Trail “passageway” — see below)
Description of Affected Areas:
• Ridgeline of Saddleback Mountain
• Alpine area
• Large area around Eddy Pond
Reserved (ski area) Rights:
• Construct five new ski lifts.
• Build, excavate, work, and grade terrain for ski trails, pipes, lifts, buildings, and other ski-related facilities.
• Build and use structures, buildings, ski lifts, skiing trails, wind barriers, snowfencing, signs, snowmaking pipes and facilities, electrical, water, telephone, and utility lines and other recreational facilities.
• Cut and control trees and other vegetation as needed for ski lifts, trails, and other facilities.
• Construct two ski trails anywhere within a 200-foot right-of-way crossing the Appalachian Trail footpath.
• Sponsor commercial recreation activities.
• Improve and use an access road, and construct utility lines, water lines, snowmaking pumps, sheds, and other facilities within a 200-foot right-of-way by Eddy Pond.
• Dam and control water depth in Eddy Pond, and withdraw, store, and add water to the pond.
• Construct snowmaking sheds, pumps, pipelines, and other facilities as necessary at Eddy Pond.
Potential Capacity of Saddleback Ski Area:
• 19 ski lifts
• 94 ski trails
• Capacity of 14,500 skiers at one time
Anticipated Environmental Consequences:
• Would significantly alter the existing foreground and middleground viewshed and natural character of the Appalachian Trail.
• Would protect alpine natural communities on Saddleback Mountain.
• Approximately 66 acres of subalpine spruce-fir forest and breeding habitat for Bicknell’s thrush would be cleared; another 86 acres of subalpine spruce-fir forest would be fragmented.
• Snowmaking withdrawals from Eddy Pond would cause substantial fluctuations in water levels and decreases in water quality, with corresponding impacts to fisheries.
• The remote recreational opportunities along the Appalachian Trail would be replaced by a more developed recreational environment.
• Construction and operation of ski trails would affect some high-elevation soils and vegetation.
Anticipated Economic Consequences:
• Ski area could expand capacity up to 14,500 skiers at one time (eleven times current capacity).
• Could result in estimated visitor expenditures of approximately $66.9 million during a ten-year phase-in period.
• Could increase employment at the ski area by 605 FTEs, and create another 487 FTEs in other employment sectors in Franklin County.