NewsMontana News


Group opposing Holland Lake Lodge expansion threatens to sue U.S. Forest Service

Holland Lake
Posted at 8:59 AM, Mar 30, 2023

HOLLAND LAKE - We have follow-up coverage to a story we have been reporting on for the last six months regarding the expansion proposal of Holland Lake Lodge in the Swan Valley.

In late November, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) rejected the Master Development Plan for expansion submitted by POWDR, an adventure lifestyle company out of Park City, Utah, citing inaccuracies in the plan.

Save Holland Lake – an ad-hoc coalition aiming to protect Holland Lake has sent a letter of intent to USFS officials, threatening to sue in federal court if certain demands are not met as the process continues.

Representatives with Save Holland Lake say a potential lawsuit may be in the works if the U.S. Forest Service doesn’t follow National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) rules and fails to be transparent with the public as the potential expansion process continues.

Spokesman Bill Lombardi believes the USFS is not following NEPA rules in allowing a modular structure on the current property and allowing POWDR to potentially drill two new water wells on site.

“One, there’s a trailer on the site there that was not permitted, they don’t have permission to be there, and two, they’re looking to drill some water wells there as well, even before they have a master development plan in place that’s been approved by the forest service, so we’re telling them simply follow the laws and listen to the American people,” said Lombardi.

Lombardi said Save Holland Lake is demanding transparency from the U.S. Forest Service in letting the public know who owns the special use permit, information on the 2023 operating plan at Holland Lake Lodge and when and if a new master development plan is being submitted by POWDR.

 “The few answers we get out of the forest service, and I emphasize few, it’s very confusing to the public about what’s going on, they don’t know who owns the permit, even the forest service keeps telling us over and over again that their lawyers are reviewing who owns the permit and that’s been for at least six months,” added Lombardi.

We reached out to the U.S. Forest Service for their response on if a new Master Development Plan has been submitted, and received a response from USFS Northern Regional press officer Dan Hottle.

 “We don’t have any updates on Holland Lake right now to share. We are reviewing some things and will provide more info as it becomes available to us, hopefully soon.”

Officials with POWDR confirmed to MTN News in December that they will be resubmitting a new master development plan but did not give a time frame on when that new plan would be submitted.