BWCA Lutsen proposes new expansion Boundary Waters Listening Point - General Discussion
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Great Melinko
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09/20/2021 04:55AM  
Corporate America looking for public lands for more profit. Blight on the landscape is my two cents.


 
billconner
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09/20/2021 10:04AM  
My initial reaction was similar to Melinko's but the jobs for residents aspect needs to at least be considered.
 
OCDave
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09/20/2021 10:37AM  
Considering that public lands are co-opted for uses that include mining, oil drilling, cattle grazing, and lumbering, it seems adding a few ski runs and chair lifts must be among the most benign corporate uses of public land.

I admit, I am not knowledgable about the topic. Should this be concerning?
 
09/20/2021 12:28PM  
billconner: "My initial reaction was similar to Melinko's but the jobs for residents aspect needs to at least be considered. "

Most of those jobs are held by "imports". The Grand Marais/Lutsen area imports many kids from different countries to fill the hospitality needs. Because of Covid that hasn't happened and all the restaurants and hotels are having lots of problems filling vacancie. This summer Sven and Oles at one time only had 4 employees working (claiming that they usually have up to 40) and were open on a limited schedule.

I'm told many outfitters also had problems filling positions.

Employment is not a problem in this area. Here's an article about it.
 
09/20/2021 01:52PM  
Maybe other corporations are using public lands, but it doesn't seem right.
 
thegildedgopher
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09/20/2021 02:26PM  
Great Melinko: "Corporate America looking for public lands for more profit. Blight on the landscape is my two cents.



"


I'm not educated enough on this to have a strong opinion one way or the other -- but I feel like this might be an unfair characterization. Lutsen has been family owned and operated since the very beginning. They claim to need the expansion in order to compete with the corporate conglomerates who own the majority of ski resorts in this country.

If they do receive the land I would hope for a clause that prohibits the from selling to a corporate group. My 2 cents.
 
09/20/2021 02:40PM  
thegildedgopher:

If they do receive the land I would hope for a clause that prohibits the from selling to a corporate group. My 2 cents."


As I understand it "They would operate the ski area on National Forest land under a Special Use Permit. It would remain public land".
These are not my words, I saw this on the Superior Hiking Trail facebook website from the head of the North Country Trail chapters of WI, MN and ND areas, "Matthew Davis". The North Country Scenic Trail is part of Superior Hiking Trail now.

Guessing Sawbill Outfitters has a similar permit with the Superior NF.
 
Speckled
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09/20/2021 04:11PM  
I like it.
 
PaddlinMadeline
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09/20/2021 04:43PM  
I wonder if they are gonna have to pump twice as much water from the Poplar River. If I remember right the DNR gave them special treatment about 10 years ago to pump 150 million gallons per year. Doubling that could be pretty tough on an already struggling trout population.
 
straighthairedcurly
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09/20/2021 07:59PM  
PaddlinMadeline: "I wonder if they are gonna have to pump twice as much water from the Poplar River. If I remember right the DNR gave them special treatment about 10 years ago to pump 150 million gallons per year. Doubling that could be pretty tough on an already struggling trout population. "

This is a great question.

I don't know much about this type of special use permit. Do they pay a fee each year for use of the land? If so, how much. Are their buildings going to be built on the public land? That is a pretty major change. What would happen to those buildings when they leave?
 
09/20/2021 09:04PM  
Oh, poor Lutsen resort family. When is it enough?... I think they compete fine in their demographics. Like one match said, the businesses on the shore are having enough trouble finding workers. I smell greed... haha. Actually, I don’t care. They do a good business up there. They must be like Gunflint Lodge and trying to expand so they can sell their business for millions more. Why else would Gunflint Lodge put in a zip line right before they sold. At least I presume the zip line is on their own property. So I’m guessing right after the new slopes are up and running a for sale sign goes up. Cha Ching!
 
jhb8426
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09/20/2021 09:45PM  
Most of the ski areas in the west are on Forest Service lands. I don't see a problem with this.
 
billconner
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09/21/2021 07:09AM  
Is the lack of employees a long term many year situation or a result of the pandemic? I'm assuming those that say the north country does not need jobs presume that the employee shortage will be permanent? It was just a few years ago that there was discussion here on the north country economy and lack of employment. I don't know if more jobs are needed (and if I did I capitalize on it!) and don't recall a time in my lifetime they weren't, but perhaps the feds can just keep printing money and handing it out without people working.
 
thistlekicker
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09/21/2021 07:35AM  
PaddlinMadeline: "I wonder if they are gonna have to pump twice as much water from the Poplar River. If I remember right the DNR gave them special treatment about 10 years ago to pump 150 million gallons per year. Doubling that could be pretty tough on an already struggling trout population. "

Lusten no longer uses water from the Poplar River to make snow. They use water from Lake Superior.
 
09/21/2021 10:45AM  
PaddlinMadeline: "I wonder if they are gonna have to pump twice as much water from the Poplar River. If I remember right the DNR gave them special treatment about 10 years ago to pump 150 million gallons per year. Doubling that could be pretty tough on an already struggling trout population. "

Lutsen Ski Area switched over to pumping water from Lake Superior several years ago...
 
09/21/2021 12:13PM  
arctic: "PaddlinMadeline: "I wonder if they are gonna have to pump twice as much water from the Poplar River. If I remember right the DNR gave them special treatment about 10 years ago to pump 150 million gallons per year. Doubling that could be pretty tough on an already struggling trout population. "


Lutsen Ski Area switched over to pumping water from Lake Superior several years ago..."


I was thinking they should pull from the lake when I saw that original comment. Good to see they have....plenty to go around before she goes dry :)

I'd like to see Lutsen do lift service spring-fall for mtn bikers. I don't really care who owns or manages the land. There's a TON of undeveloped forest and gov't land in northern MN. There are only a select few spots where ski runs are possible. Let some hills be useful
 
mjmkjun
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09/21/2021 02:48PM  
nctry: "Oh, poor Lutsen resort family. When is it enough?... I think they compete fine in their demographics. Like one match said, the businesses on the shore are having enough trouble finding workers. I smell greed... haha. Actually, I don’t care. They do a good business up there. They must be like Gunflint Lodge and trying to expand so they can sell their business for millions more. Why else would Gunflint Lodge put in a zip line right before they sold. At least I presume the zip line is on their own property. So I’m guessing right after the new slopes are up and running a for sale sign goes up. Cha Ching!"

:-)
 
jillpine
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09/21/2021 05:26PM  
Full disclosure - downhill skiing is right up on top of my favorite winter time activities. Literally grew up on downhill skis (father was patroller, the entire family got free passes back in the day), patrolled in my young adult years, and taught my sons how to ski when they were also very little. One son skis Spirit Mountain regularly. All that said, I've been having a firmer change of heart the past five years. It is a very impactful outdoor activity, and I find myself feeling worse about it than better about it.

So, Lutsen is like a second winter home. Grew up there as a kid, raised my sons on the slopes and had planned to ski there until I could ski no more. I'm changing over to hoks and classics.

It's not just the expansion into fragile forest ecosystems, but the infrastructure that goes along with it. Paved roads, heavy artificial snow cover on fragile soil substrates, erosion, handling human waste (yeah, I know they are doing pit toilets on Moose Mountain), the energy consumption, parking lots, etc etc.

The link to the article in the OP provides a place for you to leave a comment for the USFS. They do read them, and they do consider them. Please consider registering your thoughts there as well as here.

Beth

 
thistlekicker
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10/01/2021 07:19AM  
Some perspectives from a local group opposed to this expansion:
Last Call For Moose Mountain
 
10/01/2021 03:02PM  
nctry: "Oh, poor Lutsen resort family. When is it enough?... I think they compete fine in their demographics. Like one match said, the businesses on the shore are having enough trouble finding workers. I smell greed... haha. Actually, I don’t care. They do a good business up there. They must be like Gunflint Lodge and trying to expand so they can sell their business for millions more. Why else would Gunflint Lodge put in a zip line right before they sold. At least I presume the zip line is on their own property. So I’m guessing right after the new slopes are up and running a for sale sign goes up. Cha Ching!"

I smell a winner.
 
thegildedgopher
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10/04/2021 02:51PM  
fadersup: "nctry: "Oh, poor Lutsen resort family. When is it enough?... I think they compete fine in their demographics. Like one match said, the businesses on the shore are having enough trouble finding workers. I smell greed... haha. Actually, I don’t care. They do a good business up there. They must be like Gunflint Lodge and trying to expand so they can sell their business for millions more. Why else would Gunflint Lodge put in a zip line right before they sold. At least I presume the zip line is on their own property. So I’m guessing right after the new slopes are up and running a for sale sign goes up. Cha Ching!"


I smell a winner."


I smell something else and it's sour.
 
Portage99
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10/05/2021 09:00PM  
Just a little bit here and a little there...adds up to a whole lot eventually.
 
tumblehome
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10/06/2021 07:07AM  
Portage99: "Just a little bit here and a little there...adds up to a whole lot eventually."

Death by 1000 cuts
 
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