Update, March 2015:
The final public hearing before approvals is on March 26th at the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) Governing Board. They will hear the project and vote on it. TAMBA will be there to publicly support the project on the record. The U.S. Forest Service has issued a proposed decision that includes the bike park. It can be viewed here: http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/ltbmu/HeavenlyEpicProject
The Heavenly Bike Park is part of the Epic Discovery Project proposed by Vail Resorts. Essentially this is a private project proposing to build a public bike park on public land in Tahoe – truly a first of its kind! This project proposes new summer activities at Heavenly, including a lift service mountain bike park comprised of about 10 miles of new downhill trails and a new eight-mile multi-use connector trail to the Tahoe Rim Trail and Van Sickle called the Panorama Trail. TAMBA has been at the table for a couple years and has a signed “Trail Partnership Action Plan” with Heavenly, the U.S. Forest Service, Nevada State Parks, CTC, and TRTA.
The draft EIR/EIS is complete and out for review right now. This document will be used to jointly approve the project by the TRPA, the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit U.S. Forest Service, and the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Lahontan Region. It is important for the public (you!) to comment on this.
More information about the Heavenly Epic Discovery Project and a copy of the Draft EIR/EIS can be found here.
Comments and support letters are due October 27. Please take action now! Write a letter or send an email showing your support and suggestions (you can also include photographs). TRPA has been identified as the primary point of contact to address questions and collect comments for all three of the approval agencies. Please submit written comments to:
Mr. David Landry
Tahoe Regional Planning Agency
P.O. Box 5310
Stateline, NV 89449
Key talking points in your letter might include:
- Creation of the Panorama Trail will provide much needed connections to the Rim Trail at Mott Canyon to Monument Pass and a lakeside connection to the Van Sickle Trail. Currently Heavenly is a black hole, void of mountain bike trails, and this public connection is greatly needed. It will better connect the town to the mountains for biking and hiking.
- The approval of events, such as races and festivals, should be included in the approval of the project. The U.S. Forest Service should include mountain bike events in the NEPA process for approval.
- The bike park should be considered for future expansion, eventually to the base areas of Stagecoach and/or California Base Lodge.
- The project will create a significant number of additional year-round jobs.
- The project is proposed in an existing developed recreational site that is in the core of the existing mountain, utilizing existing infrastructure like lodge buildings and chair lifts.
- Additional connector trails will improve the recreational experience and provide better connections.
- More people will access the National Forest through the gondola, hiking and biking, better connecting the highest base in Tahoe to the mountains.
- High-quality recreational experiences in the National Forest breeds additional stewardship for the outdoors.
- The design includes a number of resource-protection measures that will reduced or avoid negative environmental effects.
- Heavenly has a proven track record of providing high-quality recreation and environmental protection.