Ski areas could expand summer recreation under new bill |

Ski areas could expand summer recreation under new bill

Joan Lowy / Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON ” Congress is stepping into a dispute between environmentalists and the ski industry over whether ski areas should be able to expand their summertime recreation.

Democratic Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado introduced a bill Monday that would allow ski areas to offer year-round recreation on land they lease from the U.S. Forest Service. Mountain biking and alpine slides are among the more common summertime activities pursued by ski resorts.

Some 125 ski areas nationwide operate in part on federal land under a 1986 law that expressly permits skiing and other winter recreation.

Environmentalists complain Udall’s bill could lead ski areas to build water parks and roller coasters that they say would clash with the natural setting.

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