Washington State Parks Commission hears testimony on possible ex - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Washington State Parks Commission hears testimony on possible expansion of Mt. Spokane

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Washington State Parks Commission hears testimony for and against Mt. Spokane expansion Washington State Parks Commission hears testimony for and against Mt. Spokane expansion
SPOKANE, Wash. - Wednesday evening the Washington State Parks Commission heard public testimony on the possible expansion of Mt. Spokane. Backers of the proposal have tried for 6 years to develop the backside of the mountain and they're hoping this latest push will finally do it. The expansion would include groomed trails, 7 new runs, and a chairlift.

Opponents of the expansion say developing the backside would destroy old growth timber and displace wildlife. But Brad McQuarrie, Mt. Spokane's general manager, says there is no old growth qualified forest. "The impacts to wildlife are a lot less," he says. "And we're talking winter recreation. They're limiting this to just winter. So there won't be additional summer impacts, which can be pretty heavy back there."

Those in favor of the expansion also argue that skiers already go into the proposed area and it's not safe. Not only that, expanding the backside, they say, would clean up the downed timber and cut down the wildfire risk come summer.

A decision on the proposal is expected sometime Thursday.


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