Nearly two weeks ago, the SHRED Act was reintroduced into Congress, which aims to allow some ski resort rental fees that currently go to the Treasury to be sent to the U.S. Forest Service for improvements. 80% of this money would be focused on projects at the resorts, while 20% would be allocated to recreational needs in the National Forest where the ski resorts are located in.
If you were curious about how much ski resorts on National Forest land pay to the treasury, one example is shown at the Tahoe National Forest. According to the Tahoe Daily Tribune, the total yearly rental fees from the five ski resorts in the Tahoe National Forest are around $500,000. In California, the ski resort rental fees come out to around $10 million a year.
WMUR reports that last week, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (D-NH) met with New Hampshire ski industry officials in Lincoln, New Hampshire, to spread the word about the bill.
To learn more about the SHRED Act, I reached out to Jessyca Keeler, who is the President of Ski New Hampshire. She explained to me the importance of getting the SHRED Act passed through Congress:
“Passing the SHRED Act is important for the ski industry as well as other outdoor recreation experiences that operate on public lands. Rather than being entirely absorbed into the US government’s general funds, the permit fees that ski areas pay will be used to help fund the local Forest Service offices that are responsible for administering ski area permitting needs and reviewing new project proposals, among other things.
More often than not, those offices don’t have the resources to address all of the demands put on them in a timely manner, and projects that perhaps should take months to review and complete can take years. These delays can have a real impact on economic development in regions that are often rural and remote.
But it’s important to note that this legislation would do more than just serve the needs of ski areas operating on public lands; it would also provide funding that can be used for training of Forest Service staff, help with visitor services infrastructure and trailhead improvements, support search and rescue activities, and help fund workforce housing, among other needs.
We’ve seen huge increases in overall visitation to public lands which are frequently ill-equipped to handle the extra visitors. The SHRED Act will be instrumental in helping to alleviate so many of the challenges that have hamstrung local Forest Service offices.”
If you’re interested in voicing your support for this bill, reach out to your representative or senator. Many members of Congress from mountainous states like Colorado, New Hampshire, Wyoming, and Utah have already voiced their support, but it’s going to need more help to get it to President Biden’s desk.
A video from WMUR that discusses the SHRED Act is below.
Image/Video Credits: Ian Wood of Unofficial Networks, WMUR