An environmental group Granite Chief Wilderness Protection League has filed a lawsuit against Placer County’s decision to allow the new gondola between Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows.
“The project represents the first step in transforming this pristine area into one that is developed with roads, housing, and considerable human infrastructure,” the lawsuit said.
The proposed project would connect both of the resorts by transporting guests using a gondola that would require 33 towers to be built on what would be a 16-minute trip. The gondolas would transport a reported 1,400 guests per hour.
According to the Tahoe Daily Tribune, 20% of the project including five of the towers would pass through Tahoe National Forest.
Ron Cohen, president of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, told the AP that plenty of planning was put into the project.
“A tremendous amount of research and study informed the approval of this project,” he said.
Huey Johnson, the founder of Resource Renewal Institute, said in a press release that he believes there would be a better alternative.
“There are other less damaging alternatives that would allow this small subset of skiers to travel between Squaw and Alpine without constructing these towers amidst this pristine area,” he said. “This will desecrate a wilderness sanctuary.”
The Tahoe National Forest public affairs officer Joe Flannery told the Tahoe Daily Tribune that they will release their final decision on the gondola project in November.