Comment open on proposed heli-skiing in Cordova area

Officials with the Cordova Ranger District are soliciting comments through April 10 on proposed guided helicopter skiing services around 590,000 acres of Chugach National Forest.

A decision is expected in time for a start date in December.

Since the prospectus for heli-skiing was advertised from Nov. 30, 2020-Jan. 19, 2021, District Ranger Steve Namitz has selected three applicants to move forward in the process.

Ranger district officials are currently preparing an environmental assessment for the project, which proposes to issue special use permits for heli-skiing. Part of the assessment process is seeking specific comments which have a direct relationship to the project and include supporting reasons.

“People who live in and around Anchorage may have noticed or heard that there is increased demand for guided helicopter skiing opportunities on the Chugach National Forest,” Namitz said. “We proposed this project to meet forest plan goals and desired conditions, including connecting people to the outdoors, providing a range of recreation opportunities and supporting rural economies.”

Commenters must provide their name and address including the title of the proposed project, offer specific written comments, and provide a signature or other verification of identity upon request.

Comments can be send to Namitz by mail at P.O. Box 280, 612 Second Street, Cordova, AK 99574; by fax at 907-424-7214; or by email at cnfheli@usda.gov. Comments may also be submitted in person using the drop box located at the upper office entrance of the Cordova Ranger District building.

A decision on the environmental assessment will determine where and how much heli-skiing may be authorized and any other limitations that may need to be set.

More information is online at cdv.tiny.us/heliski or by contacting Jennifer MacDonald at cnfheli@usda.gov or 907-738-2786.