July 29, 2016
The gondola proposal will now go through a joint Placer County/US Forest Service environmental review process. This is great news for everyone that wants to see protection of the Granite Chief Wilderness and the Five Lakes. The county had originally decided to keep the CEQA environmental review process separate and produce a county-led EIR. But the county and the Forest Service decided last week to combine the two processes. A Public Notice will come out in a couple of weeks announcing the joint EIR/EIS and will be accepting public scoping comments for 30 days after publication of the notice.
Why is this important to us? Because the public will not have to review two separate, large documents (an EIR and an EIS), or deal with different terms, project assumptions, alternatives, etc. We can also expect more robust technical analyses. For this next scoping period we must continue to demand the development of an alternative gondola route that avoids impacts to the Wilderness Designated lands, the endangered species and the Five lakes Trail. We will be posting the Public Notice, the links to comment submittals, and briefs on the scoping issues we will be submitting.