Georgetown Lake snow removal proposal causes community concern

Posted at 11:49 AM, Aug 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-31 16:06:45-04

ANACONDA — There's a battle brewing over snow - and to remove or not to remove it in the Georgetown lake area.

Community members are concerned.

Businesses and locals rely on Red lion road to draw in snowmobilers as well as travel for those who live on top of the mountain.


But a new proposal wants to see the first five miles of the road plowed.

According to Nick Roche, vice president of the Anaconda Snowmobile club, snowmobiling brings millions of dollars to the community in the winter.

"It’s millions of dollars every year from people traveling from all over so we want people to be aware of what’s going on before it’s too late and it’s being plowed and there’s nothing we can do about it," said Roche.

He says the Anaconda Snowmobile Club has been grooming Red Lion Road since the 70s.

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Granite County and the U.S. Forest Service signed an agreement to allow the road to be winter use only from December 15 to the end of March. This has been in effect since 1968.

Business owners around the area are concerned about how plowing the first five miles could impact their winter business.

Snowmobilers generate 15-20 percent of revenue during the winter months for the 7 Gables Bar and Café.

"They do a good job of coming in here, supporting us, either stopping and having breakfast on the way up or stopping on their way back home," said Dean Foulger, co-owner of 7 Gables.

Robert Muffet is afraid that snowmobilers will begin going to different areas once the trail is plowed.

"We want them to come out and spend their money here and enjoy the time, stay in our rooms. It's something we need to support... and I’m afraid this is gonna affect us in a big way," said Muffett.

Gregory Madden lives further up Red Lion road, using a snowmobile to travel up and down during the winter months.

Madden believes that plowing the road would essentially landlock homeowners who live past the first five miles.

"There would be multiple trailers and trucks and it would just be terrible without a parking lot for them to go to and for us to get in and out on a daily basis, if we had an emergency or anything else, we’re afraid that we are not going to be able to, if we had a medical emergency, to get through and get there in time," said Madden.