Mt. Spokane Expansion Approved

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SAM Magazine-Mead, Wash., May 24, 2011-The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission has approved Mt. Spokane's proposal to add a chairlift and seven runs to the northwest quadrant of the ski area at Mt. Spokane.

The decision in favor of the not-for-profit ski area was made last Thursday in Spokane, and included a blended land classification for the 850-acre portion of the ski area known as the Potential Alpine Ski Expansion Area (PASEA). The PASEA was the only land not classified during the 1999 land classification process at Mt. Spokane State Park. The proposal by the ski area, dubbed MS2000, has been working through the process for classification and expansion approval since 2003.

In Thursday's Commission decision, a large portion of the PASEA was classified as Natural Forest Area, which would set it aside for wildlife habitat and forest protection. The proposed ski runs and lift, at approximately 80 acres, will be classified as Recreation and the remainder will be classified as Resource Recreation, which would allow for backcountry skiing.

Mt. Spokane will begin the permitting process immediately, and the resort hopes to begin construction in the summer of 2012.