highland voice,wv
8 posts
3 users
1k+ views
andy
September 9, 2004
Member since 03/6/2004
175 posts
The whitegrass site has mentioned an article about the (purchase of "Almost Heaven" ??) by the highland voice.Can anyone find the article?
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
September 10, 2004
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
Andy:

They have not posted the newest issue on the web site but I did see an advanced "Draft" version of the article. I considered publishing a story in DCSki based on the information but Scott and I concluded that there just was not enough concrete factual material in it to run an article.

The only concrete information in the article is that Bright purchased the 248-acre Harper property in October 2003 for $532,000. The deed was recorded in the Randolph County Clerk's office on October 31st. The purchaser is listed as Almost Heaven Mountain Resort, LLC. A title search by the Highlands Conservancy yielded no other hard information except this fact.

The article also says that residents claim he also recently purchased the Huffman and Burgess properties but provides no other proof of the sales (i.e. title search information). In short, it's hearsay evidence based on the West Virginia rumor mill, which we all know can be dead wrong. To get an article accepted in DCSki, one must obtain information from a hard source: the ski resort owner, a court, etc, but not from rumors.

The bottom line is that Jack Teter still hasn't sold land (the title on that property is still under his name). The 666-acre Jack Teter property is the key to the ski resort because it contains the highest private land on the mountainside, including a trapezoidal parcel about 0.2 mile wide and 0.5 mile long that runs southeast up the steep slope of the mountain and on to the gentle slope of the Plains to the crest, within 0.2 mile of the top of Mt. Porte Crayon. According to residents, Mr. Teter may sell his property but only if the other four residents sell their parcels first.

Even if Bright acquires the Teter property, he'll face some other hurdle according to the article.


The Highlands Conservancy claims that even if Bright acquires the Teter Property, he will confront several challenges. His obvious source of water for snowmaking would be Big Run, a trout stream with a Tier 2.5 classification under the Federal Clean Water Act. Water flow in Red Creek and the Dry Fork might be dramatically reduced from snowmaking, decreasing streambed oxygen and increasing the amounts of heavy metals in the water. Under the Clean Water Act, certain water quality standards are mandated by law. It is unclear if Almost Heaven could develop a system that would be able to keep this and other protected streams high enough to adhere to the law's standards.

A big potential problem is access to the Roaring Plains land owned by the U.S. National Forest Service. Mr. Bright visited the Monongahela National Forest offices in Elkins several years ago to inquire about getting special use permits on the Plains. The Forest Service routinely issues permits to people who seek to use the Forest for profit. However, Bright was told that since the endangered Cheat Mountain Salamander likely lives there, he would have to pay for an environmental impact statement and submit it to the Forest Service. He has made no further inquiries. It is uncertain if Bright could build a lodge or ski village on the Plains without using Forest Service land for access roads and power transmission lines. He would need special use permits to do this.

The Teter trapezoid is also contiguous with the proposed 425-acre Mt. Porte Crayon Research Natural Area (RNA). The Station Director of the Northeast Experiment Station of the US Forest Service recommended its establishment in 1988, but the final paperwork was never completed. The RNA contains documented populations of the Cheat Mountain Salamander, a federally listed endangered species, and possibly Northern Flying Squirrels as well. It includes an excellent example of a red spruce forest and a mosaic of high altitude hardwoods. The West Virginia Highlands Conservancy would like to see this land designated as "Wilderness." If Congress designates the Plains as a Wilderness Area, Forest Service lands on the Plains would be protected from the development of roads, ski runs and power lines.
andy
September 10, 2004
Member since 03/6/2004
175 posts
If you polled the governing body of west va which showed that a majority were in favor of developing west va's ski industry to its fullest potential for the better of the state..couldn't some strings be pulled?? didn't timberline overcome the salamander problem? Arn't there salamanders at tory? Can't we relocate these animals for the sake of us humans?Do salamanders still live up at timberline?Do salamanders taste good? Roasted flying squirrel anyone?
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
September 11, 2004
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
Andy:

It's Federal land and Federal regulations that the WVHC is talking about--the state has nothing to do with it. WVHC has been fighting for years to get a Wilderness designation for Roaring Plains. The new mountain threatens this longstanding goal--especially the potential mountaintop village and access road. They are much more neutral on Tory because of its location--much better from an environmentalist point of view. I know you own land near MPC and want to get rich, but don't hold your breath.

Regarding Timberline, that mountain has made numerous consessions to the Cheat Mountain Salamander:

1. It paid for an expensive Salamander study.
2. It does not allow ATV races to take place on Upper Salamander.
3. Salamander has no night skiing. This is a huge concession because it affects almost the entire North Face development. None of these huge, ski-in, ski-out trophy homes have night skiing access.
4. Timberline is not able to build a mountaintop conference center and lodge--another longstanding goal of the resort.
andy
September 12, 2004
Member since 03/6/2004
175 posts
John if i didn't know you were such a nice guy ..+ the smiley face i would consider your comment a cheap shot. I am all about west va living up to its potential as a MTN STATE!! I would sell my prop at cost if that would be what it would take to get "almost heaven" developed. I am sick to my stomach at the thought of TIMBERLINE as THE best thing we will see in the area.What a shame to see these awesome mtn's sit there for eternity housing a few lizards & rodents! You know that in say 100 years the pressure will be too much to withstand & one of those mtn's will be developed. Do it now! We have the dolley sods & otter creek wilderness areas surrounding the "almost heaven" site ...Give us HUMANS a break!!!! Give us a life..Lets be proud of sking in the mid atlantic!
jimmy
September 13, 2004
Member since 03/5/2004
2,650 posts
What part of salamander (trail) is under federal protection? How do the salamanders know where the boundary is? Where is the logic in no night skiing; do salamanders come out at night in the winter? No? Well maybe the lights fool them into thinking it's daytime; thats why there's no longer night skiing on White lightning, those darn salamanders were crossing the border into unprotected territory creating a safety hazard because they're so sloowww on those little short skis. But if that's the case, why is it ok to ski with them in the daylight?

74 days til ski season
Jimmy
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
September 13, 2004
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
Jimmy:

The upper part of Salamander rests on USDA land. Timberline does not own that land--hence all the restrictions.
jimmy
September 13, 2004
Member since 03/5/2004
2,650 posts
I guess it's their rockpile and that's that; as for salamanders and flying squirrels (donning asbestos suit).....Dire Straits, anyone?

"let's hear it for the dolphins, let's hear it for the trees, ain't runnin out of nothin in my deep freeze"

jimmy
DCSki Sponsor: Massanutten Resort

Ski and Tell

Speak truth to powder.

Join the conversation by logging in.

Don't have an account? Create one here.

0.13 seconds