Legal Notice of Opportunity to Comment
Lutsen Mountains Ski Area Expansion Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement
The Tofte Ranger District of the Superior National Forest (SNF) has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Lutsen Mountains Ski Area Expansion Project. The Draft EIS summarizes the project Purpose and Need, the alternatives included in the analysis, and the affected environment and environmental consequences of each alternative.
Three alternatives are analyzed in detail in the Draft EIS: Alternative 1 (No Action Alternative), Alternative 2 (Proposed Action), and Alternative 3. Alternative 2 includes the following elements: development of a 495-acre Special Use Permit (SUP) boundary, including a 36-acre area on the south side of Eagle Mountain and a 459-acre portion on the southwest side of Moose Mountain; addition of two new base areas (one at the base of Moose Mountain and one at the base of Eagle Mountain) with a variety of guest services; construction of an on-mountain chalet on Moose Mountain; development of 174.5 acres of traditional terrain and 149 acres of gladed terrain; construction of seven new chairlifts and one surface lift; additional permanent and temporary access roads to provide access to the proposed projects; and reroute of the Superior Hiking Trail/North Country National Scenic Trail (SHT/NCNST) as well as a snowmobile trail
spur on Eagle Mountain. Alternative 3 contains elements similar to Alternative 2 but removes and/or relocates several lift pods and associated SUP area, avoids the SHT/NCNST, and redesigns the trail layout on Moose Mountain. Additional details on each alternative are included in the Draft EIS.
The Draft EIS is available for review online at https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=52440. The project can be reviewed in more detail through an interactive viewer here: https://arcg.is/18mzzu. Additional information regarding this project can be obtained from: Michael Jimenez, Project Leader, Superior National Forest, by phone at (218) 626-4383 or by email to email@example.com.
The SNF is requesting your comments on any component of this Draft EIS. This public input will help refine the analysis in the Draft EIS and guide the decision-making process for this project. Questions and comments regarding this proposal are an integral part of the environmental analysis process. Respondents should include: (1) name, address, telephone number, and organization represented, if any; (2) reference the "Lutsen Mountains Ski Area Expansion Project"; (3) specific concerns or issues with the Draft EIS, and supporting reasons why they should be considered; and (4) page numbers and paragraphs, if applicable, of any concerns or issues in question.
How to Comment and Timeframe: The Environmental Protection Agency published a Notice of Availability (NOA) for the Draft EIS in the Federal Register on or about September 10, 2021. Written, facsimile, and electronic comments concerning this action will be accepted for 45 days following that date, expected to be October 25, 2021. The publication date of the NOA in the Federal Register is the exclusive means for calculating the comment period for a proposed action documented in a Draft EIS. Those wishing to comment should not rely upon dates or timeframe information provided by any other source.
Written comments may be submitted via mail to: Constance Cummins, Forest Supervisor, c/o Michael Jimenez, Project Leader, Superior National Forest, 8901 Grand Avenue Place, Duluth, MN 55808. Electronic comments including attachments can be submitted on the project website at: https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public//CommentInput?Project=52440, or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org (please include "Lutsen Mountains Ski Area Expansion Project" in the subject line). Persons who submit comments during this comment period will be placed on the mailing list for future information regarding these projects. Names and contact information submitted with comments will become part of the public record and may be released under the Freedom of Information Act.
It is important to note that the National Environmental Policy Act review of this project is governed by the Pre-Decisional Objection Process (36 CFR 218). Only those who submit timely and specific written comments will have eligibility to file an objection under 36 CFR § 218.8. For objection eligibility, each individual or representative from each entity submitting timely and specific written comments must either sign the comment or verify identify upon request. Individuals and organizations wishing to be eligible to object must meet the information requirements in the 36 CFR § 218.25(a)(3).
The Pre-Decisional Objection Process involves the following steps: publication of an NOI in the Federal Register to formally initiate the NEPA analysis and scoping; gather and analyze comments to determine issues/alternatives; preparation of a Draft EIS; publication of a Final EIS and Draft Record of Decision; and initiation of a 45-day Objection Period for individuals and organizations who provided comments during this scoping effort and/or the 45-day comment period on the Draft EIS. Objections will be reviewed and resolved prior to issuance of a Final Record of Decision.
(Sept. 11, 2021) 2903805