Mt. Spokane State Park is Washington state’s largest state park and Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park covers 10% of the park. In 2011, Mt. Spokane 2000 proposed expanding the Ski and Snowboard Park by 279 acres. This proposal poses a threat to the native forest and wildlife on the west side of the mountain. If approved, a chairlift and seven runs will fragment old growth stands and permanently impact the headwaters of Blanchard Creek. The operators of the ski area have refused to alter their plans or consider other mountain improvements that would help the area thrive.
In 2014, Mt. Spokane 2000 prepared an Environmental Impact Statement and the Washington State Parks Commission approved the ski area reclassification and expansion in November of 2014. In response, members of the Save Mt. Spokane Coalition filed notice in Superior Court against that decision, based on a clear violation of the State Parks Natural Resource Policy. In 2015, The Lands Council, along with John Roskelley, Fayette Krause, Spokane Audubon Society, and Spokane Mountaineers, joined the suit. The case is now in Appeals Court, but no date has been set for the hearing. We also appealed the Timber Harvest Permit issued by Spokane County. That appeal was heard by the Spokane County Hearings Examiner on April 13.