- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 27, 2018

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - The Arizona Snowbowl Ski Resort is asking the U.S. Forest Service to exempt its operations in a closure order on six large areas of the Coconino National Forest.

The Arizona Snowbowl has had to temporarily halt most of its summer operations, including the popular scenic chairlift, disc golf and a new bungee trampoline and mini ropes course because of the partial forest closure implemented May 23, the Arizona Daily Sun reported .

The Snowbowl has had to lay off or furlough more than 70 summer employees, the resort said.

Ten Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to interim Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen on Friday lamenting the inclusion of Arizona Snowbowl in the partial forest closure.

If the Forest Service exempts it from the closure, the Snowbowl proposes to stop every vehicle heading up Snowbowl Road and record their license plate numbers, control the route to Agassiz Lodge and educate guests on extreme fire danger.

The resort has a comprehensive incident management plan that includes fire prevention and fire suppression within the ski area, Snowbowl General Manager J.R. Murray said in an email.

The resort was designed with several fire breaks as well as safe zones, more than 150 hydrants and a 10-million-gallon (38-million-liter) pond that’s used for snowmaking during the winter.

U.S. representatives from New Mexico, Texas, Utah and Arizona are asking the Forest Service to provide a detailed briefing justifying the closure, or immediately allow the Snowbowl to restart its summer operations.

The Forest Service already allows the ski resort to continue weddings and special events on ski lodges and adjacent decks during the forest closure, said Brady Smith, the Coconino National Forest spokesman. Other limited exemptions include erosion-control projects, installation of certain summer activities near the Agassiz Lodge and annual maintenance on facilities and equipment.


Information from: Arizona Daily Sun, http://www.azdailysun.com/

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