EcoWatch

The Bridger-Teton National Forest is acceptation objections to the proposed Snow King boundary expansions into Leeks Canyon and to the east and west of the current ski area. Objections are due by Nov. 23.

Targhee comment deadline

The Caribou-Targhee National Forest is giving the public three extra days to weigh in on a sweeping expansion proposal at Grand Targhee Resort that includes on-slope restaurants, a handful of new lifts and a nearly 50% increase in the 64-year-old ski area’s footprint along the west slope of the Tetons.

An online comment portal for the proposal was not properly functioning early this week ahead of the deadline. Because of the error, comments are now being accepted through Friday.

Find an online comment form at TinyURL.com/TargheeExpansion, or email comments to Rachel Franchina at racxhel.franchina@usda.gov.

Snow King objections sought

The Bridger-Teton National Forest is accepting objections to its decision for Snow King Mountain that allows the ski resort’s infrastructure to spread in three directions: to the east, west and over the backside into Leeks Canyon.

Other elements of Snow King’s plans that moved forward as part of a “preferred alternative” in the forest’s final environmental impact statement include new ski runs, a longer and wider summit access road, summit restaurant, a zip line, mountain bike trails, magic carpet conveyers, a backside ski lift and a gondola to replace the Summit Lift.

Although the national forest has issued a decision, it is a draft that can still be contested by parties who commented during earlier stages of the approval process. Objections are due by Nov. 23. Bridger-Teton officials expect the objection meetings will be held in January, likely virtually depending on the status of COVID-19.

Fiber-optics studied in Y’stone

Yellowstone National Park is taking steps to route fiber-optic cable along most of its road system, vastly improving cellphone service throughout the 2.2-million-acre property.

Comments on the plan are due Oct. 21.

The plans, submitted by Diamond Communications, would allow Yellowstone to remove historic microwave reflectors from mountaintops and backcountry areas. No new cellular towers would be installed under the proposal.

The plans would improve cellphone coverage, and also park computer networks and broadband internet connections. Yellowstone is “scoping” the plans, but it intends to prepare an environmental assessment to authorize the project in winter 2021.

Find instructions on commenting online at ParkPlanning.NPS.gov/fiber.

Draft Madison rule released

Montana’s draft Madison River recreation rules have been released and are available for public review.

The documents can be found at FWP.mt.gov. Comments are being taken through Oct. 30.

A public hearing for the draft rule will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday via Zoom. The public will be able to watch the meeting streamed on Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks’ YouTube channel and will have a dedicated phone line to call in and provide public comment.

The environmental assessment outlining proposed changes to the recreation rules looks at three alternatives. The analysis looks at each alternative for effects on the recreation, natural and physical resources, heritage and economics of the Madison River.

Direct questions to Jessica Snyder at 406-444-9785 or jesssnyder@mt.gov.

—Compiled by Mike Koshmrl

Contact Mike Koshmrl at 732-7067 or env@jhnewsandguide.com.

Mike has reported on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem's wildlife, wildlands and the agencies that manage them since 2012. A native Minnesotan, he arrived in the West to study environmental journalism at the University of Colorado.

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