Each year, May 15th is the due date for the Annual Operating Plan (AOP) for ski area at Mount Sunapee State Park. In this plan, the operator Okemo/Mount Sunapee Resort outlines maintenance and capital improvement projects proposed for the coming year.
“The AOP shall allow public access to the leased premises for recreational and park activities,” according to the State’s oversight policy. “The State has a continuing obligation under state and federal law to make the ski area at Mount Sunapee available to the public for outdoor recreational use.”
The Department of Natural and Cultural Resources is the agency that now oversees New Hampshire parks, after the reorganization of DRED (the Dept. of Resources and Economic Development) in 2017. The operator submits the AOP to DNCR.
We expect the DNCR commissioner will hold a public meeting in Newbury in June with the Mount Sunapee advisory panel. At the meeting, we anticipate a resort representative will present the AOP and review prior year operations.
The plan is to include detailed information about the types of recreational activities available to the public; ski, snowmaking and grooming operations; the status of special use permits and leases; marketing and advertising; environmental management program; signage; and implementation of the master development plan.
Once the plan is available, Friends of Mount Sunapee will post it on its website and Facebook page. When known, we’ll publish the meeting date, as well. Advisory Committee meetings are open to the public; we encourage people to attend.
According to the oversight policy, the commissioner shall respond to the plan no later than June 30th. DNCR’s new commissioner Sarah Stewart takes office on June 4.
Friends of Mount Sunapee believes that state of New Hampshire’s primary responsibility is to serve as guardian of the public interest at Mount Sunapee State Park. If you have interest in or information to share about oversight of the ski area lease at Mount Sunapee, please contact us.