BEND, Ore. -

Deschutes National Forest Supervisor John Allen said Wednesday he has signed a decision on the Mt. Bachelor Ski Area Improvement Project.  The decision will allow a series of improvements proposed by the ski resort to move forward over the next 10 years, officials said.

In 2010, Mt. Bachelor, Inc. submitted a proposal to the Forest Service requesting authorization to implement improvements in their Master Development Plan.   The improvements were designed to improve both winter and summer recreational opportunities at the resort. 

Since then,  the Deschutes National Forest has completed an environmental impact statement for the project.  A draft environmental impact statement was put out for public comment on May 21, 2012. 

Wednesday's release of the Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision is the last step in the analysis process.  However, no projects can be implemented until a 45-day appeal period is finished, which will begin on Friday and end on April 1, 2013.

Major improvements allowed by the decision include:

Eastside Pod

·         Develop a new Eastside Express lift and associated trails.

·         Construct a new, lower elevation catchline to deliver skiers to the Eastside Express lift.

Sunrise Area

·         Replace the Rainbow lift and Sunrise Express lifts.

·         Remove a snowmobile trail (No. 40) from the National Forest Trail system and prohibit snowmobile use by the public within the Mt. Bachelor ski area boundary.

·         Develop a Sunrise Learning Center and Kids Adventure Zone.

·         Build a new lodge, parking lot, and access road at the Sunrise Base.

West Village Area

·         Shorten the Red Chair

·         Construct an Alpine Training Center and expand the West Village lodge.

·         Move the tubing hill.

·         Construct a biomass co-generation facility to provide electrical power and steam heat.

Nordic Center

·         Refurbish Bob’s Bungalow and make minor trail improvements.

Summer Activities

·         Develop new hiking trails.

·         Create a lift-served, downhill mountain bike park.

·         Create a zipline course and install a rock climbing structure.