Mount Sunapee State Park: Policies and Management

This page provides documents pertaining to the lease and operations of the state-owned ski area at Mount Sunapee State Park.

See a history thru the years of the transfer of the Mt. Sunapee’s ski area’s lease agreement and sales of holdings to various entities since 1998 to present. Mt. Sunapee’s lease, deeds, side-agreements and the state’s legal approvals have gone through many ownerships and the legal documentations can be hard to follow. FOMS has tried its best to follow the threads from Okemo to CNL to Och-Ziff to Vail Resort.

Please click on this link for a chronological history of lease holders, sales, loans and backgrounds.

The New Hampshire Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) and the Division of Parks & Recreation are responsible for the management of the state park. (Prior to July 1, 2017, legislative reorganization of the Dept. of Resources and Economic  Development, DRED was the responsible agency.)

History of how the state of NH developed and legislatively implemented the leasing of state land to private entities. 

The following shows how proposals, leases agreements and subsequent amendments, legislative actions, grants and LWCF requirements, and Annual Operating Plans and Five-Years Master Development Plans/Environmental Managements Plans have:

Culminated into the current expansion of lease area boundaries with the approval of current and future projects within the leased area of Mt. Sunapee State Park.

1996-1998 Legislative Actions, Proposal and Original Lease:

Enabling N.H. Legislation to Lease State Ski Operations (1996) – Section 12-A:29-a (pdf).

Request for Proposals –  Operation of State-Owned Ski Area at Mount Sunapee State Park – Issued by N.H. Joint Legislative Committee to Develop Proposals for Operation of Cannon Mount and Mount Sunapee Ski Areas and DRED – 1998 January (pdf 3.1MB)

Okemo Proposal for the Operation of the Mount Sunapee Ski Area –  1998 April (pdf 2.2MB)

Mt. Sunapee Ski Area Operating Lease (1998) (pdf 520kb)

  • Appendix 1- Map
  • Appendix 2 – Property Description of Lease Premises
  • Appendix 3 – Assets


2015-2016 -Revised lease area after law suit and revised MDP

Revised lease area at Mount Sunapee State Park, 2015






Mount Sunapee Lease Amendment 2016 March 11(pdf)

Revised Master Development Plan Approval Letter of Conditions 2016 March 11 (pdf)

Guiding Principles for Leases Adopted by the State Park System Advisory Council

2012, February – SPSAC Guiding-Principles-for-Leasing (pdf)

Section 12-A_29-a Lease Agreement; Terms Effective July 1, 2017 (pdf)

See our Mount Sunapee Advisory Commission resource page for MSAC meetings minutes and link for upcoming meetings, agendas, and proposed Annual Operating Plan and proposed Five-Year Master Development Plan and Environmental Management Plan.

Most Recent Five-Year Master Development Plan and Environmental Management Plan:

Submitted to DNCR in June 2020 and subject to a public hearing and public comment:
Mount Sunapee Resort Five-Year Master Development Plan (MDP) and Environmental Management Plan (EMP) 2020-2025, June 2020 (updated January 2023)


Land and Water Conservation Fund

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) was established by Congress in 1964 to fulfill a bipartisan commitment to safeguard natural areas, water resources and cultural heritage, and to provide recreation opportunities to all Americans. The fund helps strengthen communities, preserve history and protect the national endowment of lands and waters. Since its inception in 1965, LWCF has funded $5.2 billion to support more than 45,000 projects in every county in the country.  

On August 4, 2020, the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) was signed into law, authorizing $900 million annually in permanent funding for LWCF. Prior to the passage of GAOA, funding for LWCF relied on annual congressional appropriations. 

Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) State Assistance Program  (pdf); the procedures in particular Chapter 8 (Post Completion and Stewardship) which applies to Mt. Sunapee State Park and the leased area. Because LWCF funds where used to acquire lands, the entire State Park which includes lease area must follow all requirements.

The following documents regarding LWCF funding for Mt. Sunapee State Park:

Revised Master Development Plan and Environmental Management Plan (2016-2020)Read the revised plan and related documents in parts:

Revised Five Year Master Development Plan 2016-2020  Mt-Sunapee_2016-2020_RMDP (pdf 10.2 MB)

Appendix – MSR-Master-Appendix (pdf 9MB

Environmental Management Plan – Mt-Sunapee_2016-2020_EMP (pdf 3.3MB)

Lease Amendment – Mt-Sunapee_Lease-Amendment_031116

Conditions Letter – RMDP-Approval-Letter-Conditions

Lease Amendment West Bowl Lands – Exhibit A – Lease-Amend_WB-Lands_Exhibit-A

Lease Amendment Conservation Lands – Exhibit B – Lease-Amend_Conserv-Lands_Exhibit-B

Public Comment Analysis presented by DRED:





This is the original, proposed plans for 2015-2019 (June 2014) – Read  in four parts:

I. Master Development Plan (pdf 16MB)

II. Environmental Management Plan (pdf 11MB)

III. Appendices Document I and Document II (pdf 11MB and 20MB)

Other Operating and Development Plans. Here are documents submitted to DNCR by Vail/Mount Sunapee Resort and earlier to DRED by Okemo/Mount Sunapee Resort for the Mount Sunapee ski area.  The agency’s written responses are provided here as well.

Prior Annual Operating Plans:

July 2020: MSR AOP 2020-2021, revised July 20, 2020, (pdf) and letter of approval/response by Commissioner Stewart, July 22, 2020 (pdf)

May 2020: MSR AOP 2020-2021 (pdf 1 MB). See the revised AOP above.

June 2019: MSR AOP 2019-2020, revised June 22, 2019, (pdf) and response by Commissioner Stewart (pdf)

May 2019: MSR AOP 2019-2020 (pdf 13 MB). See the revised AOP above.

May 2018: MSR AOP 2018-2019 (pdf 13 MB) and, in June 2018, the Commissioner Stewart’s response  (pdf 904 kb)

May 2017: MSR AOP 2017-2018 (pdf 6 MB ) and, in June 2017, Commissioner Rose’s response (pdf 210 kb)

May 2016: MSR AOP 2016-2017 (pdf 7 MB ) and, in June 2016, Commissioner Rose’s response (pdf 138 kb)

May 2015: MSR AOP 2015-2016 (pdf 35MB) and, in June 2015, Commissioner Rose’s response AOP-2015-2016 (pdf 414 kb)

May 2014: 2014 AOP-FINAL (pdf 20MB) and, in June 2014, Commissioner Rose’s response to AOP 2014-2015 (pdf 1.1MB)

May 2013: Mount-Sunapee-Annual-Plan-2013-2014 (pdf 25MB) and, in June 2013, Commissioner Rose’s response with NHDES comments (pdf 3.4MB)

Feb. 2012: Mount Sunapee Annual-Plan_2012-13 (pdf 496kb) and, in March 2012m Commissioner Bald’s response

May 2011: AOP 2011-12 Final (pdf 96kb) and Okemo/MSR Summer-Recreational-Proposal (November 2011) (pdf 1.7MB) and, in June 2011, Commissioner Bald response to AOP 2011-2012 (pdf)

May 2010: AOP 2010-11 (pdf 2MB) and, in June [2010] Commissioner Bald’s response

May 2009: AOP 2009-2010 (pdf 1.47MB)

May 2008: AOP 2008-2009 (pdf 3.59MB)

Earlier Master Development Plans:

June 2009, for 2009-2014Download/view in four parts:

MSR-MasterPlan_pg-i-34 (2009-2014)) (pdf 7MB)

MSR-MasterPlan_pg-35-79 (2009-2014) (pdf 5.01MB)

MSR-MasterPlan_pg-80-84-Maps (2009-2014) (pdf 7.66MB)

MSR-Master-Appendix (2009-2014) (pdf 9MB)

Commissioner Bald’s Letter in Response to MSR MasterPlan (2009-2014) (pdf 108.76kb)

2004 Proposed Master Development Plan Documents

NOTE: The 2004 MDP documents were scanned in 2004 from original copies obtained at the Newbury NH Town Hall.

Okemo Master Development Plan with Real Estate 2004 (6.2 MB)

Okemo Environmental Management Plan 2004 (2.5 MB)

Appendix E Base Area Well Evaluation 2004 (1.9 MB)

Appendix F Wastewater Facilities 2004 (356.8 KB)

Appendix G Wetlands and Water Survey 2004 (1.3 MB)

Appendix H Snowmelt Drainage 2004 (1.2 MiB)

Appendix I Traffic Impacts 2004 (2.1 MB)

Appendix J Wildlife Study 2004 (321.5 KB)

Appendix K Economic Impact Study 2004 (1.4 MB)

Map West Bowl Skiing Proposal 2004 (1.1 MB)

Map West Bowl Real Estate 2004 (1.0 MB)

Map EMP-2 2004 (1.0 MiB)

On June 1, 2004, Okemo released its first Master Development Plan that included their proposed West Bowl expansion on Mount Sunapee. See more via FOMS page: All About Real Estate 





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