Lutsen Mountains embraces the natural resources that enable us to lay claim to the largest ski area in the Midwest. Lutsen's 1,000 acres, 95 ski runs on four sprawling mountains with spectacular views of Lake Superior is why our stewardship decisions are as important as our business decisions.
POPLAR RIVER MANAGEMENT BOARD
The Poplar River runs through the heart of our ski area. It is a hidden gem and important to our community. In 2004, the lower Poplar River was placed on the Impaired Rivers List by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. In 2005, we worked with adjacent landowners to form the Poplar River Management Board (PRMB) to protect and improve the water quality of this segment of the river. http://www.poplarriverboard.com/ In collaboration with the Cook County SWCD, the PRMB has invested over $1.7 million in grants and private funds in conservation projects and other initiatives to improve water quality. Numerous traditional and innovative approaches have been applied to stabilize the river, its banks, and the adjacent hillsides which consist of highly-erodible soils. Over time we have achieved a significant improvement in water quality. For example, it was estimated that between 2000 and 2010 (and likely more today), a 300-ton/year reduction in sediment was achieved. Today, concentrations of total suspended solids are meeting state standards 92% of the time. The MPCA announced in October 2017 that the Poplar River is now meeting state water quality standards and will be removed from the impaired waters list. A wonderful achievement, with lots of dedicated partners! The Poplar River Managment Board's work, however, is not done, as it will continue to monitor the River and annually inspect installed practices and make sure that any needed repairs are carried out. We are determined to maintain our success, and maintain the high level of water quality of this beautiful stream.
LAKE SUPERIOR-POPLAR RIVER WATER DISTRICT
The Lake Superior-Poplar River Water District and pipeline project is the result of efforts by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Minnesota's conservation community to have Lutsen Mountains use water from Lake Superior for snowmaking instead of water from the Poplar River, a designated trout stream. Through our efforts, funding has been secured and construction has been substantially completed. Beginning November 2017, the pipeline became operational for all snowmaking needs of the ski resort. The Poplar River will no longer serve as a source of water. The pipeline is also available to provide water for firefighting. Several hydrants are located along the pipeline for filling tanker trucks. The pipeline can delivery 7500 gallons/minute, and given the existential importance of snowmaking to the ski resort, represents a critical piece of infrastructure to ensure the sustainability of the resort for future generations. And by being connected to Lake Superior which holds 10% of the earth's fresh water, we should never have any concerns about having enough water to meet current or future needs.
GOING GREEN WITH SNOWMAKING MACHINES
The purchase of 32 new SMI Pole Cat snow guns has doubled Lutsen's fleet of high-efficiency guns, which use less electricity and water but make more snow. These snowmaking machines are each equipped with their own mini weather stations, which measure temperature and humidity to automatically adjust the optimum mixture of air and water flow.
PARTNERSHIP WITH CONSERVATION MINNESOTA
Lutsen Mountains is proud to be the sole corporate sponsor of the Favorite Places feature on Conservation Minnesota's website. http://www.conservationminnesota.org/favorite-places/ Our commitment is to be one of your favorite places, but we know Minnesotans love their out-of-doors and exploring this great state. This new web feature is a handy way to share your favorites and to find outstanding outdoor opportunities you may have overlooked. It reflects our joint commitment to the idea that each person who gets out and enjoys our lakes, woods, and wildlife, can be a partner in protecting the Minnesota we all love.
THESE ARE ALL PART OF OUR COMMITMENT TO PRESERVE THE OUTDOOR EXPERIENCE FOR GENERATIONS TO COME.