Mount Spokane State Park is the largest park in the state park system at approximately 13,000 acres. Within the park, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission (Commission) has authorized an existing alpine ski area known as the Mount Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park that is currently operated under a concession agreement with a Spokane area non-profit known as Mount Spokane 2000 (MS 2000). The existing ski concession area encompasses 1425 acres or about 10% of the park.
In 1999, the Commission adopted land classifications for the park. However, an approximately 800-acre portion of the park, known as the Potential Alpine Ski Expansion Area (PASEA), was left unclassified at that time. In 2014 staff developed classification recommendations for the PASEA. The process involved considering a range of land classification options. One land classification option included a proposal from MS 2000 to construct a new chairlift together with seven new ski trails and accompanying infrastructure in a 279-acre portion of the PASEA. In light of the potential ski area expansion, the agency determined that the land classification action had the potential to have a significant adverse impact on the environment. As a result, an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was required under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). Although the EIS considered both the land classification non-project proposal and the ski area expansion project proposal within the same document, these were distinct and separate actions.
Additional background information on Mount Spokane State Park planning can be found athttp://parks.state.wa.us/335/Mount-Spokane