Silver Eagle: Visual Impacts - The Canyons, UT


In 1997, the American Skiing Co. purchased Wolf Mt., a ski area that had suffered from years of neglect. As part of its plan to create a new resort, management drafted an environmental action plan that involved input from environmental activist groups and representatives from the local community, which resulted in the restoration of a natural mountain viewshed. The resort worked with Save Our Canyons on lift placement. Using computer imagery and walk/drive inspections with community representatives, it located its lifts in areas that are not highly visible to the community, creating trails, lift alignments and feathering and glading techniques that blended with the natural landscape. It placed 320 acres--and has committed to place additional acreage--into open space and conservation easements. (Finalist: Crested Butte, Colorado)