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Tamarack unveils plans for expansion after filing for a special use permit with the national forest

Posted at 11:26 AM, Jan 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-31 20:34:03-05

DONNELLY, Idaho — Tamarack Mountain Resort applied for a special use permit with the national forest, Tamarack hopes to expand their terrain by more than double what they currently have.

Tamarack currently has a little more than 2,000 acres, and if their special use permit did get accepted, Tamarack would add 3,300 acres.

But that is also getting ahead of ourselves, there's a long road ahead after Tamarack spent the last 18 months putting together their master development plan before submitting their application.

"It's a lengthy process, it requires a lot of public input under the National Environmental Policy Act or NEPA," said Scott Turlington, the president of Tamarack Mountain Resort. "Our goal is to expand our current operations."

It's an ambitious goal as the plan calls for six additional chairlifts, including a gondola that would transport ten people from the base up to a new summit called Lone Tree Peak.

"We are also proposing to have an on-mountain lodge at the new summit as well," said Turlington.

The new terrain would also help Tamarack expand summer operations, there are plans for a mountain coaster and we were told the health of the forest was also part of the application.

"It is public land, and I think the great thing about public land is when you make it accessible, people will come," said Turlington. "I have not seen a greater desire or interest from people in my life to get outdoors and be connected with nature."

Filing the special use permit marks the beginning of a long process that will include public comment and environmental impact statements before anything could happen.