Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for Lutsen Mountains Ski Area Expansion Project The United States Forest Service (Forest Service), Superior National Forest (SNF) is now seeking comments on a proposal submitted by Lutsen Mountains Corporation (LMC) to pursue select projects from its 2016 Master Development Plan (MDP).
Notice of Intent to Prepare
an Environmental Impact
Statement for Lutsen
Mountains Ski Area
The United States Forest Service (Forest Service), Superior National Forest (SNF) is now seeking comments on a proposal submitted by Lutsen Mountains Corporation (LMC) to pursue select projects from its 2016 Master Development Plan (MDP). The Forest Service has accepted this proposal, and is initiating the preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS) to analyze and disclose the potential environmental effects of implementing the projects. The publication of the notice of intent (NOI) in the Federal Register (anticipated on or around April 28, 2020) will initiate a 30-day comment period. The NOI provides the sole means of calculating the close of the comment period. This legal notice also serves to notify and invite public comment on the proposal as stipulated in 36 CFR 800.3 of the National Historic Preservation Act.
The purpose of, and need for, the Forest Service's action is to decide whether to grant a Special Use Permit (SUP) for the project. The projects are proposed to provide additional beginner and expert ski terrain and enhance terrain variety, improve skier circulation and reliable snow conditions, and increase the quality of guest services. The proposed projects would require the approval of an approximately 495-acre SUP and would include the development of the Moose Mountain and Eagle Mountain areas for both traditional, groomed terrain as well as undeveloped, minimally maintained skiing opportunities; snowmaking installation on all traditional terrain; the construction of two additional base areas with a variety of guest services in Eagle and Moose Mountain areas, respectively, as well as a new on-mountain dining facility; and additional maintenance and parking space adjacent the base areas.
The SNF is requesting your comments on any component of this proposal. The purpose of this scoping period is to provide an opportunity for interested parties to provide early and meaningful participation on this project and to learn more about the project. Your 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" and (3) specific facts, concerns or issues, and supporting reasons why they should be considered.
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). The project can be reviewed in more detail through an interactive viewer here: https://arcg.is/18mzzu.
Your comments will be most helpful if received by May 28, 2020. Only those 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. Individuals who do not submit comments but wish to remain on this mailing list should contact Michael Jimenez by phone at (218) 626-4383 or by email to email@example.com.
It is important to note that the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review of this project is governed by the Pre-Decisional Objection Process (36 CFR 218), which has replaced the Forest Service's previous Administrative Appeal Process (36 CFR 215). 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.
To obtain additional information about the Lutsen EIS, please contact Michael Jimenez by phone at (218) 626-4383 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
D.N.T. April 28, 2020