Forest Service to study impact of proposed Lutsen Mountains expansion

The environmental review would take many months.

The U.S. Forest Service is "scoping" issues to be included in an environmental review of a proposed expansion at Lutsen Mountains ski area onto National Forest land. File / News Tribune.

The planned expansion of the Lutsen Mountains ski area on Minnesota’s North Shore of Lake Superior would get a long-awaited environmental review under a proposal by the Superior National Forest.

Forest Service officials have published a formal notice of their intent to conduct the environmental review on whether to grant a Special Use Permit to Lutsen Mountains to build additional ski runs on 495 acres of Superior National Forest land just west of the current ski area.

Public input for scoping for the federal environmental review — the process to decide which issues will be covered by the review — will go through May 28, the Forest Service announced Tuesday. For information on that process, go to .

The environmental review would take many months and will eventually include public input before any decision on the permit.

The News Tribune first reported the possible expansion in 2017. The existing Lutsen Mountains complex of four hills, multiple lifts and 95 runs — along with ski shops, chalets, taverns, restaurants, condos and hotels — now sprawls across 1,000 acres.


The expansion would increase the ski-able area from 180 to 320 acres, the company said in 2017, and include an expanded base area, additional skier services and more parking on both Eagle Mountain and Moose Mountain.

Another group has asked the Forest Service to keep the proposed expansion areas undeveloped for backcountry skiing.

John Myers reports on the outdoors, natural resources and the environment for the Duluth News Tribune. You can reach him at
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