DENVER (AP) – A U.S. Forest Service official says the agency expects to begin a public process this spring to craft a directive addressing ski resorts and valuable water rights.

The agency had adopted a clause that said ski resorts seeking permits to operate on public land had to transfer water rights for the land to the federal government. It said it wanted to ensure water rights needed for snowmaking on the land weren’t sold.

After the National Ski Areas Association sued, the judge ruled in December that the Forest Service hadn’t followed procedure in adopting the clause and said it should try again.

Regional forester Daniel Jiron told Colorado legislators Monday the Forest Service will work with the ski industry and others to craft a new directive.

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