Northstar California Submits Master Plan For Mountain Improvements For Environmental Review

Northstar California™ Resort has submitted a Mountain Master Plan for environmental review, which features on-mountain projects designed to improve the guest experience and recreational opportunities. Here’s more:

Northstar California

TRUCKEE, Calif. – Nov. 6, 2012 – Resort officials are sharing Northstar’s Mountain Master Plan (NMMP), outlining what the future holds with regard to on-mountain improvements and additional recreational opportunities at the preeminent destination resort in North Lake Tahoe. The plan, submitted to Placer County for environmental review, outlines mountain improvements proposed at Northstar over the next 10-15 years that are consistent with guest feedback and designed to enhance the overall experience, as well as the environment

“The Northstar Mountain Master Plan (NMMP) illustrates an exciting next step in our vision for the future of Northstar, and includes plans for new lift served skiing and riding on Sawtooth Ridge, improvements to the way guests access the mountain, and more activities for people to enjoy when they visit Northstar,” said Bill Rock, chief operating officer of Northstar California Resort.

The Northstar Mountain Master Plan proposes new ski terrain, lifts, skier facilities and additional recreational opportunities, as well as upgrades to existing ski terrain and facilities. It was developed using environmental principles and management strategies established in Northstar’s Habitat Management Plan (HMP), a resource management guide that was developed in collaboration with the local environmental community to conserve and enhance the natural resource values of Northstar lands while allowing for current and planned future land uses in a manner that is compatible with those values.

An important component of the proposed NMMP is the resource management and enhancement of lands in the northwestern section of the resort that borders Sawtooth Ridge, public lands to the west and the Martis Valley, making it a significant protected area. This area will be managed using the HMP guidelines to conserve and enhance the natural resource values. Implementation of the HMP includes areas managed primarily for conservation over specific areas that lie outside resort infill areas, forest health enhancement measures that have been and will continue to be implemented, and additional measures, as appropriate, to mitigate impacts to biological resources that may be identified through the environmental review process.

 The NMMP proposes the following improvements:

· Lift access to the advanced terrain and gladed back country terrain located on Sawtooth Ridge, which will help diversify and balance the terrain choices available to resort guests;

· Approximately 300 acres of new ski trails accessed by seven new lifts. New terrain will offer increased diversity through proposed traditional and tree island trails as well as gladed tree skiing, and will be located on the eastern and western slopes of Mt. Pluto, the northeastern slopes of Sawtooth Ridge, and Lookout Mountain 

· Improved quality of snow surface conditions through additional snowmaking coverage, further enhancing the resort’s snowmaking system with new and improved technological and energy efficiencies;

· On-mountain skier service site improvements to provide additional seating, restrooms and enhanced food service;

· Improved skier circulation within existing terrain through trail widening, skier bridges and existing lift upgrades.

 An Environmental Impact Report (EIR) examining the proposal will be prepared in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) statutes and guidelines, and Placer County’s Environmental Review Ordinance. The EIR will identify feasible mitigation measures to reduce or avoid impacts, will consider project alternatives, and will evaluate the project’s potential to contribute to cumulative impacts in the region.

“Local environmental organizations have worked closely with us to review our proposed master plan and ensure its consistency with the resort’s Habitat Management Plan. It is extremely important to us to continue enhancing the guest experience while also protecting the environment. We look forward to reviewing the plans with the public and local leaders to receive further input,” said Rock. 

The Notice of Preparation of an EIR has been distributed by Placer County, seeking public review and comments on the NMMP. To review the NMMP, please visit http://www.placer.ca.gov/Departments/CommunityDevelopment/EnvCoordSvcs/EIR/NorthstarMMP.aspx. Written comments will be accepted through 5 p.m. on December 5, 2012 to Maywan Krach, Environmental Coordination Services, Community Development Resource Agency, 3091 County Center Drive, Suite 190, Auburn, CA 95603 or cdraecs@placer.ca.gov.

The Lead Agency will hold a public Scoping Meeting to receive comments on the scope of the EIR on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 10 a.m. at the Lakeview Suite, North Tahoe Event Center, 8318 North Lake Boulevard, Kings Beach. 

For more information, including answers to frequently asked questions, existing and proposed ski area maps and the complete Mountain Master Plan proposal, please visit www.NorthstarCalifornia.com/masterplan.