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U.S. Forest Service beginning review of Lutsen Mountains expansion request

The frosty view from the webcam at Lutsen Mountains - Image courtesy of Lutsen Mountains
The frosty view from the webcam at Lutsen Mountains - Image courtesy of Lutsen Mountains

Lutsen Mountains would like to add some skiing opportunities to the recreation area. To grow, however, would mean use of U.S. Forest Service land. Lutsen Mountains has asked the Forest Service to consider leasing land to the ski hill to allow it to expand.

Lutsen Mountains is requesting approximately 50 acres on adjacent federal land, on what the ski area calls Eagle Mountain, and about 400 acres on Moose Mountain.

WTIP spoke with Lutsen Mountains co-owner Charles Skinner about the proposal and he explained the project is in the beginning stages of the NEPA process. Skinner said the Forest Service had the option of conducting an environmental assessment or the more in-depth environmental impact statement. He said Lutsen Mountains asked for the more rigorous environmental study and that is what the U.S. Forest Service is pursuing.

An environmental impact study will likely take two years to complete. Work began in spring 2019. There will be opportunity for public comment as it moves forward.

Lutsen Mountains was established in 1948. It is home to 95 runs across four mountains, with a maximum vertical drop of 825 feet. Past improvements at the ski hill include installation of a high-speed, six-passenger chairlift in 2013 and an 8-passenger gondola in 2015.

Charles Skinner said he hopes the expansion comes to fruition, as it is something to benefit the next generation.

Here’s more on the status of the expansion plans at this time.
Photo courtesy of Lutsen Mountains LIVE webcam. To view the webcam, click here. 

To learn more about Lutsen Mountains, click here