Good morning all. Since we had some comments going about the guys who cut their own ski run in Vermont, I swapped things around a bit so your comments had a home. Article about the heinous crime used to be available in Burlington newspaper, link is now broken. Google can probably turn it up.
It is indeed a noble tradition for locals at many ski resorts to remove a tree limb here and there and thus contribute to maintenance of the ski runs. Indeed, some of the older ski mountains in the country have much of this in their roots. Aspen Mountain in Colorado is a good example — is was started and maintained by locals and the sweat of their brows. Presently, ski resorts cut millions of trees with blessing from public officials, and I’m okay with that as I’m aware that trees grow back and the sport of skiing is worth doing some logging.
But what about our public forests we use for backcountry skiing? Nearly everyone agrees that they’re poorly managed. In many areas of the country, public forests have filled with deadfall and in-growth that’s unnatural and while a problem for recreation, can become so dense it’s even a problem for wildlife. Such growth was controlled by periodic fire in olden days, or by heavy logging for mining and commercial timber. Granted, much of the early logging was done in ways that resulted in land scars, but can it be done more sustainably now, and thus help the forests? And how about cutting a few backcountry ski runs? Would that not help the forest and wildlife in many areas?
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.