Federal bill aimed at boosting ski-area economies

DENVER (AP) — Elected officials from Colorado, Wyoming and Utah have introduced a bill that would amend the current ski-only permitting rules for ski areas on U.S. Forest Service land. The Ski Area Recreation Opportunity Enhancement Act of 2011 would give the Forest Service more discretion in approving recreational sports other than skiing. It also clarifies what other summertime or year-round activities would be allowed. A 1986 law permits only ski-related activities on national forest land. Sen. Mark Udall, a Colorado Democrat, said Thursday the bill is intended to boost the sluggish summertime economies of ski resorts and cement steady job opportunities not tied to seasonal disruptions. A similar bill was introduced in 2009 but wasn’t passed before the end of the congressional session.

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