Tuesday, January 24, 2006

About boundaries

You're skiing, say, Keystone. The trails are crowded, or you're looking for a new thrill, or you consider yourself a rebel. So you jump the rope and you're outside the ski area, on national forest land. Is that your right?
The U.S. Forest Service doesn't go that far, but spokesman Matt Mathes did tell the Associated Press Monday, "We do not consider it a crime to leave the permit area. It goes against our grain to close the national forests."
But last month, the Summit County sheriff issued citations for violations to the state's Ski Safety Act, with $300 fines to two snowboarders who were lost outside Keystone's boundaries. The sheriff, John Minor, doesn't just believe people should be punished for jumping ropes. He wants that fine to be raised to $500. What do you think - do you side with the sheriff, who says he's trying to prevent costly and often life-threatening rescues? Or do you think he's gone too far?
- Deb

1 comment:

UltraRob said...

I have mixed feelings about this one. After all it is NFS land that I think should be open to the public. The problem with NFS land next to ski areas is that it's accessible to people that have no skills for being in the backcountry. They also don't understand the risks. If you have to hike or ski into an area, you at least have to have some basic fitness and hopefully have a better understanding of what you're getting into. Maybe skiing should be banned within 1/2 mile of a ski boundary but that would pose a problem with a couple of the 10th Mountain Huts where you can easily ski out onto one of the ski areas.