Foes of the 695-acre Snowbasin Ski Resort land swap have not ruled out going to court now that the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture has refused to review a Forest Service approval of the exchange.
Linda Sauer, spokeswoman for the Coalition for the Preservation of Snowbasin, said she was not surprised that the decision would not be reviewed."We're looking at agencies with long-established track records for bad land management decisions, and we anticipated this," she said.
Of the possibility that she or others may take the Forest Service to court, she said, "That is always an option."
Sauer, along with Sierra Club representative Rudy Lukez and Bountiful resident Ronald Younger, appealed regional forester Stan Tixier's decision to approve the land swap between the Forest Service and Snowbasin.
Opponents based their appeal on purported deficiencies in the ski area's environmental impact statement.
In a Jan. 30 response to the appeal, Washington-based Associate Forest Service Chief Larry Henson upheld Tixier's decision, saying the impact statement in question was "adequate for its purpose."
The Secretary of Agriculture then had 15 days to request a review of the Forest Service's decision. But a Feb. 7 letter to those appealing the decision indicated that the matter would not be reviewed.
Snowbasin wants the Forest Service land so it can use its Ogden Valley ski resort year-round.
Sauer said Friday that she was disappointed with how the Forest Service and the Department of Agriculture have treated her concerns and those of the other appellants.