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State wants public meeting on sale of Mount Sunapee ski area lease

After bribery schemes in Africa led the U.S. government to fine the new operator of Mount Sunapee Resort $412 million last year – one of the biggest penalties ever issued under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act – the New Hampshire attorney general wants to hold a public information meeting about plans for the resort. – via Concord Monitor

See http://www.concordmonitor.com/sunapee-ski-area-sale-10567921

See FOMS homepage alert: What is Och-Ziff? And what does it have to do with Mount Sunapee? Read about Och-Ziff and related articles about the sale of the ski area lease at Mount Sunapee State Park.

Please contact us if you have related information to share or are looking for more information.

FOMS believes that the State’s primary responsibility is to serve as guardian of the public interest at Mount Sunapee State Park and to deny efforts that undermine the essential conservation and public recreational values for which the park fundamentally exists to provide.

Commercial development, driven by powerful corporate interests, increasingly threatens public lands. At Mount Sunapee State Park, we must strongly resist the exploitation of our parkland for private financial gain.

Additionally, leaseholders at our state parks must demonstrate sound financial management and ethical practices that inspire public confidence and trust.

Comm. Rose to announce revised master plan for Mount Sunapee

MSAC Agenda 2016March17Commissioner Jeffrey Rose, Department of Resources and Economic Development, is expected to release a revised five year plan for Mount Sunapee at a public meeting of the Mount Sunapee Advisory Committee on Thursday, March 17, 2016. The meeting will be held at 10 a.m. at the Newbury Town Offices, Route 103.

Please join friends of Mount Sunapee State Park at this important public meeting.

Click on image for larger view.

Resort’s environmental plan is flawed

FOMS volunteers hiked the Summit Trail in October to view the park's old growth forested areas on the western side of the mountain, an area now in the path of resort development. Photo location: Polygon D, identified in the 2004 N.H. Natural Heritage Bureau report.

FOMS volunteers hiked the Summit Trail in October to view the park’s old growth forested areas on the western side of the mountain, an area now in the direct path of resort development. Photo location: Polygon D, identified in the 2004 N.H. Natural Heritage Bureau report.

Mount Sunapee Resort’s  Environmental Management Plan is Flawed

The Environmental Management Plan (EMP) dated June 1, 2014, as submitted by the Mount Sunapee Resort (MSR) to the NH Department of Resources and Economic Development (DRED) as part of their 2015-2019 Master Development Plan is flawed and misleading.

The EMP cites a May 2004 field study conducted by W. D. Countryman & Associates, and states that the study “did not find any areas of old growth forest or areas with ‘old growth characteristics.'”This may be accurate, but it is important to understand that it is likely that this study did not survey the lease expansion area, the very area of Mount Sunapee State park that is the focus of the so-called West Bowl Expansion.

It is equally important to note that a Sept. 2004 survey of the West Bowl lease expansion area by NH Natural Heritage Bureau (NHB) did find areas of old growth forest that were deemed to be of statewide significance.

MSR omitted this crucial information when submitting the 2014 EMP.

Additionally, the 2014 EMP states that, according to the 2004 Countryman study “field investigators found no evidence of tree scaring (sic) by bears.” Yet, a casual survey of state park lands within the West Bowl in October 2014 by Friends of Mount Sunapee (FOMS) volunteers found abundant evidence of bear scarred trees.

Bear Scarred Tree Polygon A 2014Oct

Bear scarred tree, one of many, observed by FOMS volunteers during an October 2014 hike at Mount Sunapee State Park. Location: Polygon A, as identified in the Natural Heritage Bureau report (2004), in the proposed ski expansion area.

Finally, the Countryman report failed to include maps or any specific indication of the parcels surveyed, or the area encompassed by the self-described “wander search”. The report is neither signed nor stamped, and since Mr. Countryman passed away in 2005, it is difficult to determine who conducted the study or authored the report.

It is clear that an up to date and thorough environmental study of the entire proposed expansion area, by a competent third party, needs to be completed before serious consideration can be given to any expansion plans.

Copyright 2018 Friends of Mount Sunapee