Environmental & Land Use Permitting Community Planning


Hunter Creek-Smuggler Mountain Cooperative Plan

This exciting project involved a new way of planning Forest Service lands that have high recreational use, wildlife and ecosystem values, and are adjacent to mountain and resort communities. It was strongly community-based and included participation from a wide range of stakeholders from local recreation, conservation, and environmental groups, as well as agencies and jurisdictions.

SE Group completed the Hunter Creek-Smuggler Mountain Cooperative Plan for the management of 4,680 acres on the White River National Forest outside of Aspen, Colorado, under the direction of the U.S. Forest Service. The Hunter Creek-Smuggler Mountain Cooperative Plan involved an extensive visioning process, which resulted in the completion of a Vision Document. The Vision Document represents common values shared amongst most stakeholders, and provides a foundation for identifying opportunities, or actions, to meet that vision within the planning area.

With the completion of the Hunter-Smuggler Cooperative Plan, the projects were evaluated through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process and culminated in a decision by the White River National Forest to approve the planned projects.

Project Highlights

Creative Partnerships

  • Throughout the Visioning, Planning and NEPA process, SE Group was instrumental in creating unique and lasting partnerships between the conservation and recreation communities in the Aspen area.
  • These partnerships were the cornerstone to a successful project with win-win results for all of those involved. This award-winning process was recognized by APA Colorado in 2013 with and Honor Award in Innovative/Creative Partnerships and Collaborations.

SE Group was instrumental in identifying and putting a long-stalled process in motion for the Forest Service and local community to engage in. The methodical three-phased process was a creative way to achieve a multi-user project on federal lands.

Scott Fitzwilliams, Forest Supervisor White River National Forest