AK Heli Op Sues The Federal Government | Not Willing To Share Terrain With Other Permitted User

AK Heli Op Sues The Federal Government | Not Willing To Share Terrain With Other Permitted User

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AK Heli Op Sues The Federal Government | Not Willing To Share Terrain With Other Permitted User

Photo: Dirk Groeger | Cover: Kent Goldman

The owners and operators of Tordrillo Mountain Lodge recently filed a lawsuit in federal court that hopes to remove the introduction of a third helicopter-skiing operation in the Neacola and Tordrillo Mountains of Alaska. TML claims the new operation wasn’t subject to the appropriate scrutiny during their application process and as such– poses a risk to the safety of their clients.

Related: The 10 Best Places To Go Heli-Skiing

In their lawsuit, TML officials claim the risk mid-air helicopter collisions and fatal avalanche situations could increase with the new operator. Federal officials have since defended the new user (*Alaska Snowboard Guides) saying that TML’s tactics reflect a monopoly situation on a an otherwise underutilized resource.

“One company’s desire to limit competition should not be given more weight than BLM’s statutory multiple use mandate and the public’s desire to utilize and enjoy public lands.”Justice Department, Legal Defense Filing

TML does not agree. Instead they claim that their permitted area is sufficient for its two current users, which includes themselves and Silverton Mountain Guides. SMG however rarely uses their permitted access and only flies clients into the Neacola or Tordrillo Mountains when their home range lacks decent conditions reports the Anchorage Daily News.

One of the lodges owners (*which includes gold medalist Tommy Moe), Mike Overcast claims that anywhere else in the United States and their area would be a national park. Unfortunately for Overcast, if that were true– he likely wouldn’t be allowed to run his current op. For the TML, the optics aren’t good. That said we like the pristine swaths of mountains to remain as pristine as possible. Where do you stand?

Find the entire Anchorage Daily News article here: Alaska heli-skiing company takes fight over fresh tracks to federal court

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