Breckenridge Ski Resort

Breckenridge Ski Resort's Peak 8Resource Engineering (RESOURCE) has worked with Breckenridge Ski Resort (Breckenridge) on a wide variety of water resource projects since 1982. The services provided by RESOURCE during this time include ground and surface water hydrology analyses, wetlands analysis, water quality monitoring and analysis, preparation of environmental review documents (e.g. Environmental Impact Statements), water rights, and geographic information system (GIS) database management. The projects completed in each of these general areas are discussed in more detail below.

Mountain Hydrology

RESOURCE has worked in cooperation with Breckenridge and the United States Forest Service to evaluate how ski trail clearing, terrain modifications and snowmaking influence mountain hydrology. This cooperation has involved extensive field assessment of surface and ground water at Breckenridge, including stream channel assessments and an on-site stream monitoring program. Additionally, RESOURCE has utilized several computer applications, including GIS and the WRENSS (Water Resource Evaluation of Non-Point Silvicultural Sources) Model, to assess mountain hydrology.

PondWetlands Analysis

RESOURCE has worked in cooperation with Breckenridge and other consultants to identify sensitive wetland areas at the Resort. RESOURCE has used Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to catalog the spatial location and type of wetlands located at Breckenridge. This database helps Breckenridge avoid wetland areas during mountain operations and construction activities. Additionally, the data has helped to facilitate the acquisition of permits for mountain activities from federal agencies like the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) and the United States Forest Service. RESOURCE has also designed and constructed successful wetland mitigation sites for Copper Mountain.

Water Quality

RESOURCE has implemented an on-going water quality monitoring program for Breckenridge. The long term monitoring associated with the program includes regular water quality sampling of several streams located at Breckenridge. RESOURCE collects water quality samples and submits them to ACZ Laboratories, a highly qualified, State certified laboratory. The analytical results provided by ACZ are incorporated into a regularly maintained water quality database. The database is used to facilitate analysis of baseline water conditions and potential impacts of proposed projects. Periodically, RESOURCE conducts short term, project specific water quality monitoring for Breckenridge. Short term monitoring involves regular sampling and reporting to ensure that Breckenridge’s construction activities don’t adversely impact wetland and water resources.

Ski liftEnvironmental Permitting

RESOURCE has been involved with the preparation of numerous environmental review documents in cooperation with Breckenridge. This has included work on Environmental Impact Statements (EIS), Environmental Assessments (EA), categorical exclusions (CE), threatened and endangered species consultation, and Section 404 permittting. RESOURCE has excelled at developing practical solutions that facilitate the implementation of proposed actions. In addition to NEPA review, RESOURCE has assisted Breckenridge with obtaining and maintaining compliance with numerous local, state and federal permitting requirements. For example, RESOURCE develops an annual storm water management plan to help Breckenridge maintain compliance with the State of Colorado’s General Permit for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Construction Activity.

Water Rights

One of RESOURCE’s most important roles with Breckenridge is to provide the technical expertise to support water supply planning and water rights management. Over the years, RESOURCE has helped guide the development of physical and legal water supplies for snowmaking and restaurant uses. This has involved the acquisition of water court decrees and plans for augmentation for several surface and ground water sources. RESOURCE also assists Breckenridge with the on-going maintenance of their water rights. In particular, this involves complex water rights accounting and scheduling augmentation releases from Goose Pasture Tarn and the Upper Blue Reservoir.

One of Breckenridge's ski runsGeographic Information Systems (GIS)

RESOURCE maintains a comprehensive Geographic Information Systems (GIS) database for Breckenridge. The database contains critical spatial and attribute data of mountain infrastructure (e.g. lift lines and snowmaking infrastructure) and natural resources (e.g. streams). The GIS database provides a powerful tool for project planning and analysis. In particular, it provides a visual representation of past, present and proposed conditions that allows technical experts and mountain planners to make informed, quantitative decisions. Breckenridge’s staff has ready access to their GIS database via the Internet. RESOURCE uses ArcIMS software to publish GIS data to the Internet in a form that is easily accessible to Breckenridge staff members.