From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 2, Number 46 - February 13, 2003
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Half Moon Resort plan out for review

by Cat Urbigkit

There have been significant improvements made to the Half Moon Lake Resort in the last few years, and more improvements and expansions are in the works under a plan offered by the resort's current owners.

The master plan would develop the resort into a full-service, four-season facility offering recreational experiences year-round.

The Pinedale Ranger District of the Bridger-Teton National Forest has released the environmental assessment for the Half Moon Lake Resort Master Development Plan.

The EA analyzes the effects of the proposed action and two alternatives to the proposed action. The Forest Service has identified Alternative 2 as its preferred alternative. This alternative would authorize expansion of the permitted area from 20 currently developed acres to 28 total permitted acres and would allow expansion of existing resort facilities.

The Proposed Action includes the following elements:

Expansion of the special use permitted area from 8 acres to 42 acres. (The current development occurs on 20 acres, so the permitted area needs to be officially expanded to at least that size).

Construction of a shop and staging area near the resort entrance, including a 3,500-square-foot shop, three to four RV sites with power and sewage hook-ups, additional parking for horse and boat trailers, installation of a small contained septic dump station and a potable water well.

Expansion of the lodge by 1,400 square feet.

Expansion of the parking area at the lodge, complete with fencing and flood lights.

Upgrading and replacement of utilities in the lodge area.

Adding eight boat slips to the existing 21 slips.

Two additional cabins to be constructed for guests.

Expansion of employee housing would include the addition of one employee cabin, a bunkhouse, added bathroom facilities and two septic tank/leach fields.

Expansion of the barn structure.

Adding two propane generators and fencing along the boundary area.

One of the issues with the proposed action identified by the public was that the proposed expansion of the permit boundary from the existing 20-acre developed area to the proposed 42 acres would restrict public use along the shoreline and the area on the east side of the resort. In response, Alternative 2, the Forest Service's preferred alternative, would change the special use permit boundary to include only the facilities that exist or are proposed in the master plan. Otherwise, Alternative 2 is exactly the same as the proposed action alternative.

The EA also includes a no-action alternative identified as Alternative 1. Under this scenario, the resort would remain as it exists now and future development would be restricted to reconstruction or replacement of existing facilities.

The EA notes that the 42 acres were proposed simply to encompass all existing and proposed development and to make the boundary easy to locate and define, and not to include a larger area under the permit for future development possibilities.

Mitigation measures were added to the plans to address public concerns about decreasing the water quality in the lake and esthetics. As a result of public concern, the proposed breakwater was dropped from the plan entirely.

The EA also analyzed the effect on the existence and habitat of sensitive, threatened or endangered wildlife species and threatened or endangered fish species. The EA concluded these species may be affected, but adverse affects from the proposed resort expansion are not expected.

Public comments on the EA will be accepted until March 7. Comments should be submitted to Craig Trulock, District Ranger, Pinedale Ranger District, P.O. Box 220, Pinedale, Wyo., 82941, or e-mailed at ctrulock@fs.fed.us. A public meeting will be held Feb. 19 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Pinedale Library.

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