Fri Jun 18th, 2021
Tags: Annie Custer, companion bill, Doug LaMalfa, Economic Development, forest service, John Curtis, mountain communities, outdoor recreation, Partnership, representatives, shred act, ski areas, ski fees, ski hill resources for economic development act, skiing communities, Support, Support recreation, Washington, White River National Forest, Wyoming
U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) introduced the Ski Hill Resources for Economic Development (SHRED) Act to invest in outdoor recreation in mountain communities. This bicameral, bipartisan legislation would ensure National Forests retain a portion of the annual fees that ski areas operating within their boundaries pay to support local recreation and community priorities. U.S. Representatives Annie Kuster (D-N.H.), John Curtis (R-Utah), Joe Neguse (D-Colo.), and Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.) introduced a companion bill.
“Skiing is a vital component of Colorado’s outdoor recreation industry, creating jobs and boosting local economies,” said Bennet. “The partnership between ski areas, the Forest Service, and mountain communities is critical — especially in areas like the White River National Forest. This bill will rightfully keep funds where they are generated and help local communities tackle their own priorities, like making trailhead improvements or increasing staffing. I look forward to working with my colleagues to get this done for mountain communities in Colorado and across the country.”
“Wyoming is home to world class skiing. The resorts in the Jackson area and across the state are critical to our economy,” said Barrasso. “Right now, Wyoming ski communities are sending money to Washington but not receiving the full benefits from those fees. Our legislation will help make the Forest Service a better partner. By creating a specific dedicated account for these fees, Wyoming skiing communities will get more bang for their buck. They will be able to provide an even better experience for visitors by improving their facilities, protecting the forests, and supporting the local economy.”
In exchange for using some of America’s most stunning forestlands, the 122 ski areas operating on Forest Service lands across the country pay fees to the Forest Service that average $39 million annually. The SHRED Act would establish a framework for local National Forests to retain a portion of ski fees to offset increased recreational use and support local ski permit and program administration. The SHRED Act also provides the Forest Service with flexibility to direct resources where they are needed the most.