Santa Fe Ski Basin Proposed Expansion: Ethnographic Assessment
The Santa Fe Ski Area is located on the west slope of the Sangre de Cristos approximately 20 miles to the northeast of Santa Fe. The elevation within the study area ranges from 10,000 to over 12,000 feet. Included in the study area were Aspen Basin, Aspen Peak, Lake Peak, Nambe Lake, Santa Fe Lake, and the drainages formed by the North Fork of Tesuque Creek, the Santa Fe River, and the Rio en Medio.
The study area for this project included the existing Santa Fe Ski Area (see Map 1), plus all the proposed expansion acreage. The Santa Fe National Forest, which encompasses the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, administers all the land included in the study area. These mountains separate the eastern plains from the Rio Grande Valley. The purpose of this research study was to conduct an ethnographic assessment for an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) of a proposed expansion plan for the Santa Fe Ski Area located in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains north of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Along with expansion into forest areas outside the existing Special Use permit boundaries, the proposed plan includes new buildings, parking lots, lifts, ski runs, and snowmaking within the existing ski area boundary.
The ethnographic assessment concentrates on those cultural resources known to be in the area, as identified by Pueblo participants in the research study. This project had three objectives: a) what impact would the project have on the traditional uses, cultural uses, values, and belief practices of Tesuque Pueblo and other Pueblos' uses of the area; b) how would the ski area expansion affect the traditional use area of the Tesuque Pueblo and other Pueblos; and c) what specific areas of traditional cultural use, including those of Hispanic origin, would be affected by the proposed alternatives.