The Mountain Design
The primary mountain ecosystem – the integration of forest and meadow land – has been diligently preserved. A strong concern for the natural ecology of the mountain was carried through the entire design and development process. Resort planners respected, wherever possible natural landforms, existing vegetation, and diverse views. Mountain planners balanced ski-ability with a respect for visual impact.
Beaver Creek was one of the most environmentally scrutinized projects of its time:
Developing Beaver Creek into a ski area was and still is today, a partnership between the Forest Service and Vail Resorts. The approval process involved multiple agencies and groups, a considerable amount of conditions and approvals, and a lot of forward thinking from all those involved, it was a long process.
The entire process of developing Beaver Creek into a World-Class ski resort from the drawing board to an operating resort took a long time. The major factor, which led to this lengthy procedure, was the need for a full recognition and reconciliation of numerous environmental impacts.
Beaver Creek encompasses 2,775 acres of public lands. The United States Forest Service has the responsibility of balancing the demands of recreational facilities against the need to preserve wilderness. The Forest Service has stated that recreational development is a form of economic activity, which is one of the least destructive to the area’s long-term productivity.
The Forest Service’s jurisdiction over Beaver Creek ends where the privately owned lands begin. In the village of Beaver Creek, a whole new set of environmental rules come into play. Resort officials worked with county officials in formulating and implementing environmental guidelines.