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Terrain Expansion Project Needs Your CommentsBack to News»

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Posted On: August 21, 2014 in: Terrain Expansion Project
UPDATE:  WA State Parks has extended the comment period through September 30th 2014.

To:         Friends of Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard Park
 
From:    Mt. Spokane 2000
 
Re:         “Backside” Expansion Update

 
As we wind down summer and look toward the ski season, we’re moving closer toward securing approval on our plan to expand Mt. Spokane by adding a chairlift with seven runs on the Northwest side of the mountain.  This is a critical time and once again, I’m writing to ask for your help.  Public comment is currently being received by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission to classify the land as “Recreation”, and we ask that you please convey your support with a letter or email message.  
 
Over the past decade, we have worked tirelessly to balance environmental stewardship with recreational priorities, and the process has been extensive, lengthy and complicated, involving dozens of technical studies, reports and plans.   

In the meantime, a local special-interest environmental group continues to work to stop the expansion by creating hurdles for Washington State Parks.  They filed an appeal on the Washington State Parks Commission’s land classification of the backside, which was thrown out in summary judgment in February 2012.  They then appealed to the Superior Court.  The Superior Court decided that an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) should have been prepared prior to the Land Classification, rather than for the Ski Area proposal (project action EIS completed in 2012).
 
Over the past several months, a new DEIS has been prepared and consists of Two Parts…one for Land Classification and one for the project action (lift and seven trails).  The all-inclusive Draft Environmental Impact Statement can be seen at: http://www.parks.wa.gov/856/Mount-Spokane-PASEA-Land-Classification
 
An expanded Mt. Spokane will benefit the region’s citizens through enhanced recreation for youth and families and positively impact the region’s economy.

Parks is taking comments on the EIS now through September 30th, 2014.  See the DEIS for full details, but here is a quick breakdown of four alternatives being considered. 
It is IMPORTANT that Alternative 4 gain support:
 
Part 1 – Land Classification (4 alternatives)
•  Alternative 1 - No Action.  The Land will not be classified at this time
•  Alternative 2 - Natural Forest Area.  No Chairlift or Trails.  No back country skiing
•  Alternative 3 - Resource Recreation and Natural Forest Area.  No Chairlift or Trails.  Back country skiing allowed.
  Alternative 4 - (Preferred) Recreation, Resource Recreation and Natural Forest Area.  Allows for one chairlift and seven new trails, safeguards natural areas and solidifies the long-term future of Mt. Spokane.

Part 2 – Project Action
The Commission will not make a decision on Part 2 unless Part 1, Alternative 4 is chosen.

•  Alternative 1 - No Action.  Lift and Trails are not approved at this time
•  Alternative 2 - Enhanced Recreation Alternative.  Allows for the lift and seven trails.  Includes more grading and clearing
•  Alternative 3 - Mitigated Alternative.  Allows for the lift and seven trails but doesn’t include as much grading and clearing.  This was the Alternative chosen by State Parks in the 2012 decision.  Both Alternatives 2 and 3 meet the purpose and need of the ski area.

Comments on the Combined DEIS must be in writing and must be received by September 30, 2014.  Email comments are preferred.  To provide email comments go to the State Parks web page at http://www.parks.wa.gov/FormCenter/Planning-6/Public-Comment-65 and enter “Mt Spokane PASEA” in the “Planning Project” box.  Hard copy mail comments on the Combined DEIS should be addressed to the SEPA Responsible Official identified below:
Randy Kline
PO Box 42650
Olympia, WA 98504-2650  

We appreciate your continued support and ask that you encourage family and friends to get involved.  If you have questions, check out http://www.mtspokane.com/expansion or contact Brad McQuarrie at 509-238-2220 ext. 207 or at brad@mtspokane.com.