In the mid-'90s, when weekend crowds began to appear at Bridger Bowl, Mont., the resort asked the Forest Service for an expansion. It's now seven years into the process. Bridger wants to add 600 acres, erect two chairlifts and carve some new trails. Meanwhile, critics have raised questions about everything from the effects on wildlife habitats to the noise that avalanche bombs would make in the morning. However, Bruce Erickson, who worked as a consultant for the resort, explains that even favorable comments add to the process. "If you send in a five-page letter in support of the project, I've got to answer every one of your points just like I do if you write a five-page letter in opposition." The approval process appears to be winding down. "I'm optimistic that we'll get approval soon," says Bridger Marketing Director Doug Wales.