DERBY, Vt. (AP) – The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources is appealing a permit for a golf course at Jay Peak over concerns about black bear habitat.

The District 7 Environmental Commission ruled in July that the ski resort already had reduced the size of the golf course from 27 holes to 18 because of the bear habitat.

The 18-hole golf course “significantly reduces the impact of the golf project on the on-site bear-scarred beech stand,” the commission wrote.

As part of the Act 250 land-use permit Jay Peak must protect hundreds of acres of land for black bear. The commission ruled that the resort can ask to develop protected lands in the future if the bears’ use of the land changes.

Jay Peak Resort President Bill Stenger said the ruling was reasonable.

“We want to be able to react to what we find is the utilization of the land by black bear,” he said.

Stenger said he hopes the dispute can be resolved this fall instead of going before the Vermont Environmental Court.

Nine holes of the golf course opened this summer.

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