Photo Credit: snowboarding.transworld
Unofficial has been following this story since July. The major premise of the newly proposed law is to allow ski resorts to engage in off-season summer activities that previously weren’t allowed, because they were not written into the main policy that governs the relationship between ski resorts managed in partnership with federal lands. One of the most glaring omissions in this process has been that technically, only alpine and nordic skiing have been allowed at these ski resorts, making snowboarding an illegal activity.
The bill, The Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act (S. 382/H.R. 765), has at least passed Congress, and is now only waiting for President Obama to sign it into law. As mentioned the bill allows more summer operations to take place at the 121 ski areas across the country that operate in a partnership with the federal government on public lands. Ski resorts in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Washington and Wyoming are all included.
Senator Mark Udall, a democrat from Colorado is the man behind the bill. It’s a bipartisan effort that finally passed with a unanimous vote in the house of representatives (394 to 0) after previously failing twice. All throughout the debate newly allowable off-season activities and increased economic revenue have framed the dialogue. However, what’s largely been lost is that snowboarding has remained illegal. But in a recent quote Udall snuck snowboarding in amongst the other political discourse:
“In Colorado, we know that the last snowflake falling doesn’t signal the end to our outdoor recreation—and it’s about time the law reflected that.” “A small clarification to the law means that appropriate activities like snowboarding, zip lining and concerts can take place on public lands, enhancing our enjoyment of them and helping mountain communities sustain local jobs through the shoulder seasons. This is a big win for mountain towns and ski areas across Colorado and across the country.”
Nice work Mark. So now it sounds like President Obama is the final step, and since he’s expected to sign the bill, that means President Obama will now make snowboarding a legal activity on public lands! Wow, what a junk show, but at least it sounds like the bill is finally coming full-circle.
Photo Credit: michiganestateplanninglawblog