Ski Constraints

April 27, 2010

The Denver Post opines on the recent decision by the Forest Service to restrict an expansion at Crested Butte:

Rocky Mountain Regional Forester Rick Cables, himself a skier, tells us that his agency hasn’t changed its process. Rather, he says, Colorado has changed.

In the last 10 years, Cables says, the state’s population has grown by more than a million, concerns about climate change have heated up, baby boomers are beginning to exit the slopes and many other uses of federal lands have become popular.

Add to that the tension over growth in mountain towns and the permitting process becomes far more complex than it was when lift tickets cost $7 and skiers could drive up Interstate 70 on Saturday morning without traffic.

As lovers of Colorado’s mountains, we think the Forest Service is correct to take these new pressures into consideration in its duty to protect our public lands.

That’s a lot of buck-passing. How about this: it’s not just that Colorado has changed, it’s that (a) we know more about the environmental impacts of our actions, (b) we ought to be concerned about damage to ecosystems and/or wildlife, (c) we ought to reflect a bit about the expansion of (what is effectively) a luxury industry at a time (i) when local actions are widely acknowledged to have global impacts and (ii) necessity industries may be more justifiable.

I’d take any of those.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: