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Squaw Alpine Agrees To Protect Frog Species In Gondola Operation

A gondola moves up the mountain
Steve Jurvetson
Flickr, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
The new base-to-base gondola will be able to transport 1,400 people per hour, according to Squaw Alpine. There is currently no estimate of when it will open.

Two Tahoe-area ski resorts can move forward with their plans to build a massive gondola connecting the properties together.

Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows — known jointly as Squaw Alpine — has reached an agreement with an environmental activism group, which has now dropped its lawsuit. Members of the Granite Wilderness Protection League saw the original plan for the gondola as a threat to an endangered species: the Sierra Nevada Yellow Legged Frog. That's why they filed a lawsuit in September against Squaw Alpine.

The suit also named Placer County and the U.S. Forest Service. Daniel Heagerty with the League said the plaintiffs didn't consider the harm construction and operation of the structure would do to the wilderness area.

"The biggest problem was the original alignment cuts through a part of the designated wilderness area: the Granite Chief Wilderness area," Heagerty said.

After meeting with the League, Squaw Alpine agreed to limit operation of the gondola to certain times of the year. The company will also conserve other areas of its property for potential frog habitat and provide funding for the study and possible restoration for the species.

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