Nevada’s Mt. Rose ski resort expansion across highway gets green light
RENO, Nev. — Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe is set to expand its terrain to include slopes on both sides of the Mount Rose Highway.
On April 14, the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest issued Mt. Rose an expansion record of decision and environmental impact statement.
Supervisor Bill Dunkelberger selected Alternative 3 “because it improves the quality of the ski area’s winter sports offerings on National Forest System lands, while minimizing environmental and human impacts,” he said in a press release.
The selected plan amends Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe’s existing special use permit by approximately 112 acres to incorporate a portion of the Atoma area located on the north side of Nevada State Route 431, according to the release.
This alternative allows the ski resort to build a two-stage chairlift, 11 new ski trails, and a skier bridge across the highway to connect the main ski area to the new terrain; a water pipeline to provide new snowmaking coverage; and a 5 million gallon water tank to support snowmaking.
“We are excited to be able to start moving forward on Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe’s Atoma Area Expansion Project,” said Mt. Rose Marketing Director Mike Pierce in the release. “This project will provide locals an enhanced winter recreation opportunity as well as transform Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe into a key destination attraction.”
According to previous reports, the multimillion-dollar project — a version of which was first proposed back in 2012 — could be completed as early as 2023.
A Forest Plan Amendment is also a part of the plan. It restricts any future development of commercial uses on approximately 3,446 acres of NFS lands in the area known as Galena Land Exchange with the exception of the 112-acre Atoma and 168-acre Chutes areas.
“Friends of Mt. Rose and all who love our mountains will be celebrating the Forest Plan Protection part of the decision,” said Friends of Mt. Rose spokesperson Rose Strickland. “The Carson Range is traditionally valued for hiking, camping, mountain biking, birding, backcountry skiing as well as for our watershed. We thank all who helped along the way in this successful 30-plus year community campaign.”
In addition, this alternative addresses impacts to white bark pine, a candidate species under the Endangered Species Act, by reducing the footprint of the water storage tank, and avoids impacts to wetlands and perennial streams by focusing trails in the Atoma area on existing road alignments and in natural openings.
Heather Ashbridge, who started with Nevada State Development Corporation in 2008, previously served in several roles with the organization, including assistant vice president and loan officer. She is based in NSDC’s Reno office.