The U.S. Forest Service has approved a land exchange between the Custer Gallatin National Forest and Red Lodge Mountain.

The Billings Gazette reports that Forest Service Supervisor Mary Erickson published her finding of no significant impact after an environmental assessment was completed.

Under the terms of the land exchange, two parcels of Custer Gallatin National Forest lands totaling 250 acres at the base and mid-mountain areas will be exchanged for 382 acres of Red Lodge Mountain lands.

The deal, valued at about $2.4 million, has been in the works since 2007 and is expected to be finalized next year.

Red Lodge Mountain Manager Jeff Schmidt says the land swap will allow ski area officials to own the base area, making it easier to get financing for improvements.