After months of "kicking the tires" and sharing ideas, local government leaders have released a more definitive plan for Marshall Mountain.

And they'd like to know what you think about the ideas.

Release of the "Marshall Mountain Park Conceptual Master Plan" this week marks the next step in the efforts to re-open the former ski area northeast of Missoula and convert it into public ownership as a hub for outdoor recreation.

The City of Missoula and local conservation interests have been working on the scheme since Marshall Mountain was nearly purchased by an out-of-state buyer after setting in limbo for several years. That caused a local uproar, and lead two local couples to purchase the site through their Izzy Dog, LLC partnership, with the idea of turning it over to public ownership this year.

Dennis Bragg photo
Dennis Bragg photo

A few weeks ago, it was announced Missoula County would be taking the lead in efforts to locate funding to complete the purchase.

The Conceptual Plan contains many of the features that have been on the list for the past year or more, with an improved system of mountain bike and hiking trails, and facilities that could be used by groups for activities like outdoor education.

But there are some additional details

The plan includes an outline for habitat restoration and the construction of some new buildings for various public uses. Many of the improvements would be in the central "base" of the former resort so it could host a variety of events. There are indications features like the iconic clock tower may remain. However, the old ski lift towers would be removed.

People are being invited to comment on the proposed plan through June 19th at the city's EngageMissoula website.

If everything falls in place, backers of the idea hope to complete the purchase by the end of the year.

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