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Mount Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park Planned Expansion Moves Forward

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On Tuesday, Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard Park won a Washington State Supreme Court ruling that will allow its planned expansion to move forward.

Some conservation groups, including The Lands Council, had opposed the expansion saying it would impact wildlife habitat and the character of old growth forest.

The general manager for Mt Spokane Ski and Snowboard park, Brad McQuarrie, says construction begins this week, to create nearly eighty additional acres of groomed trails, and seven new ski runs. He says because of original concerns from some about the impact on wildlife and the forest, the original plan was scaled back by the Park commission from 800 to 279 acres:

“This commission decision was a loss to a skier or someone from Mount Spokane 2000, because it actually took out and with a majority of the rest of it they actually classified it as forest and it will be that way forever. It sets that land aside for the natural plant and animal processes. Not everybody was happy; it was a compromise, but I thought the commissioners did a good job.”

Mike Petersen, Executive Director of The Lands Council  says he is disappointed the Supreme Court did not allow their challenge to go through: “putting ski runs through really fragments a forest, you completely change the way the wildlife move, it’s less wild, more disruptive. The critters that really value privacy will have a harder time getting away. So it’s taking away some of the wildness in our area.”

Brad McQuarrie says the new runs will be open this winter, but the newest lift won’t quite be ready. He says skiers can transverse to chair four to get back up to the top.

Steve was part of the Spokane Public Radio family for many years before he came on air in 1999. His wife, Laurie, produced Radio Ethiopia in the late 1980s through the '90s, and Steve used to “lurk in the shadowy world” of Weekend SPR. Steve has done various on air shifts at the station, including nearly 15 years as the local Morning Edition host. Currently, he is the voice of local weather and news during All Things Considerd, writing, editing, producing and/or delivering newscasts and features for both KPBX and KSFC. Aside from SPR, Steve ,who lives in the country, enjoys gardening, chickens, playing and listening to music, astronomy, photography, sports cars and camping.
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