Udall's Bill to Bolster Shoulder-Season Jobs in Ski Communities Signed into Law
Today, President Obama signed into law Mark Udall's bill to reduce federal regulations that will help mountain communities and ski areas create stable jobs through the shoulder seasons. The bipartisan Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act makes a small change to the National Forest Ski Area Permit Act of 1986 to allow the Forest Service to permit ski areas to host activities beyond the currently allowed Nordic and alpine skiing. They can now consider permitting activities such as mountain biking, concerts and ropes courses on national forest lands.
"After five years of pushing this through Congress, I am ecstatic that my bill has finally been signed into law. It's a sign that, even after the contentious year we've had in Washington, we can still come together to pass a common-sense fix for communities around the country," Udall said. "It's not just the local outdoor enthusiasts who benefit from this change; more recreational opportunities are a bigger draw for tourists, who spur economic development in our mountain areas and inject much-needed revenue during slower months and otherwise-tight times. I'll keep working with the Forest Service and Colorado ski areas to help implement the new law in a way that makes sense for our communities."
Udall introduced his ski areas recreational bill in the Senate in 2009, but - despite broad, bipartisan support - the bill was blocked in the last days of the session due to partisan wrangling on unrelated issues. He reintroduced the bill earlier this year, spoke about it on the Senate floor and fought to push it through committee hearings, onto the House floor, and finally, through the Senate in October.