Mountain Resorts

Facilities Improvements Environmental Analysis

Arizona Snowbowl and USFS Peaks Ranger District, Coconino National Forest
Snowmakers blowing snow on a mountain

Located on the majestic San Francisco Peaks, the Arizona Snowbowl lies 14 miles outside of Flagstaff. The resort opened in 1938 and is one of the oldest continually operated ski areas in the country. Arizona Snowbowl historically relied entirely on natural snow, and as a result, annual skier visitation was closely correlated with snowfall. SE Group prepared an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Coconino National Forest and Arizona Snowbowl that analyzed improvements to the lift and terrain network, day lodges, parking, and most notably, the proposed use of Class A+ reclaimed wastewater for a state-of-the-art new snowmaking system.

A view of Arizona Snowbowl ski area

After reviewing and responding to almost 6,000 comments (both supportive and oppositional) on the Draft EIS, a Final EIS and Record of Decision was released in February 2005, which approved all components of the proposal. The decision was contested in all levels of the U.S. court system and was ultimately upheld in the Supreme Court. This is widely noted as being one of the most contentious Environmental Impact Statements ever prepared for a ski area project.

Testimonials Don't just take our word for it

This project (Arizona Snowbowl EIS) is as complex as it gets, and not just any group of people could have done this at the level in which you did. Because of your professionalism, I truly believe this is one of the best documents and most thorough, efficient NEPA processes I have ever seen.

Gene Waldrip
District Ranger, Coconino National Forest