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City Club Missoula hosts discussion about future of Marshall Mountain

Posted at 8:31 AM, Jul 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-12 11:22:04-04

MISSOULA - Marshall Mountain has a long history of Missoulians enjoying the outdoors.

Some remember learning to ski up there while others head up the mountain bike and hike.

The nearly $2 million goal of the project is to preserve and protect the 320 acres located in East Missoula.

City Club Missoula hosted a discussion about the future of Marshall Mountain on Monday following a survey from the public asking what they wanted to see at the former ski hill.

The 320 acres recreation center located in East Missoula has become a hot spot for the community.

“We are faced with a blank slate at Marshall, which is kind of nice, and we can design these amenities from scratch,” said Missoula Parks and Recreation Ecosystem Services Superintendent Morgan Valliant.

The group is under contract with the SE Group, a company that specializes in taking old ski resorts and turning them into regional parks.

The project is broken up into four phases.

Phase 1 is complete with data collection from a survey posted for public comment on what they hope to see at Marshall.

The project is currently in phase two — reviewing community vision and creating a draft master plan.

Part of that involves hammering out some of those smaller details on what development, transportation, and potential costs will look like.

But what everyone seems to be in agreement on is that the future of Marshall Mountain is a place for all to use — in all seasons — for recreation with education and of course fun going along with it.

By the end of August, they hope to have a master plan draft put out for public comment.

“We are still in planning mode," said Valliant. "We are going to actually start putting stuff down on maps and then getting it out to the public for comment.”

Until then, recreators will continue enjoying the outdoors.

"You are right next to the forest and the flowers and everything, and you really feel like you are in nature," said Michelle Mullis who hikes on Marshall Mountain.

The other question is what happens if the city doesn’t buy the place?

Panelists say it all comes down to protecting land.

The city does have a fundraising page.