Targhee National Forest officials are preparing an environmental impact statement to determine the effects of the planned expansion of Grand Targhee Resort.
But the Citizens for Teton Valley are still not convinced they will have enough input into the expansion plans and will continue with their lawsuit protesting the Forest Service's renewal of the ski resort's special use permit."We haven't considered dropping it though we are always hoping for negotiations," said group President Boyd Bowles. "I won't comment further about what we want. The lawyers have been in touch."
Resort owner Mory Bergmeyer wants to build a "hilltop village" of condominiums, shops and homes. Most of the development would be hidden in a valley, he said, and would not scar the hillside of the majestic Tetons, which are visible from the Idaho valley to the west - the home of the Citizens for Teton Valley.
The citizens group has asked U.S. District Court in Cheyenne to make Bergmeyer and the U.S. Forest Service pay more than $60,000 in expenses the group accrued when pursuing a separate lawsuit that blocked expansion of the resort last year.
The group was successful in convincing Judge Alan Johnson that the proposed development did not receive adequate public and technical review.
Bergmeyer contended he had every intention of completing an Environmental Impact Statement before pursing expansion of the resort. Congress this fall handed down $350,000 to fund that EIS and the process is about to get under way.
The latest lawsuit filed in September by Citizens for Teton Valley asked the court to "order the U.S. Forest Service to consider the environmental impacts of a decision to permit Grand Targhee to expand and become a year-round destination resort."
The Forest Service has scheduled a 7 p.m., Dec. 6 meeting at the high school in Driggs, Idaho, to introduce the proposed master plan publicly.