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Lowell_Skoog

North Cascade Heli-Ski permit, comments due May 28

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The Methow Valley Ranger District of the Okanogan and Wenatchee National Forests will decide whether to issue a five-year special use permit to North Cascades Heli-Skiing, Inc. (NCHS). NCHS has proposed changes to its special use permit. The NCHS proposal is presented in the ranger district's Environmental Assessment (EA) as preferred Alernative 2.

 

==== Comments must be postmarked by May 28, 2002 ====

 

Please return comments to Jennifer Zbyszewski, Methow Valley Ranger District, Winthrop Office, 24 W. Chewuch Rd., Winthrop WA 98862. Comments can be e-mailed to "jzbyszewski@fs.fed.us". If you have questions, you can phone her at 509-996-4021.

 

The remainder of this message consists of material extracted verbatim from the EA. I've extracted items that I think are of most interest to backcountry skiers. To the extent that this extract may not fully represent the issues involved, I take responsibility.

 

Maps of the EA are available from the Methow Valley Ranger District. I haven't seen the maps yet.

 

Lowell Skoog

Seattle, WA

lowell.skoog@alpenglow.org

 

---- Extract from the Environmental Assessment ----

 

PURPOSE AND NEED

 

The first heli-skiing special use permit on the Methow Valley Ranger District was issued in 1982. NCHS took over the business in 1988, and has held special use permits covering every year since then. The number of client days has varied over the years, between 198 and 663.

 

The analysis area includes the proposed permit area included in Alternative 2. The area includes approximately 33,900 acres in the Twisp River drainage, and approximately 259,200 in the Upper Methow drainage, for a total of 293,100 acres. [As far as I can tell, the area used by NCHS is not changing, but they may designate new runs and landing zones. -LS]

 

The company requested a total of 1,050 client days (priority and temporary), which would be a combination of alpine and Nordic skiers

 

The company is currently operating under a short-term special use permit for 550 client days. This permit will expire on May 31, 2002. The company has averaged 407 clients each season over the past ten years, ranging from 198 in 1992/1993 to 663 in 1999/2000.

 

The Okanogan National Forest Plan (1989) encourages a variety of recreation activities including winter recreation, consistent with management area direction... This desired future condition for the Methow Valley Ranger District includes service partnerships with outdoor recreation and use groups, such as North Cascade Heli-Skiing, Inc., where activities are compatible with other resource objectives.

 

ALTERNATIVE 1

 

Objective:

 

Have no guided helicopter assisted skiing on the Methow Valley Ranger District.

 

Description:

 

This alternative would not re-issue a special use permit to North Cascade Heli-Skiing, Inc. There would be no permitted guided helicopter assisted skiing on the Methow Valley Ranger District.

 

ALTERNATIVE 2

 

Objectives:

 

* Continue to provide guided, back-country helicopter assisted skiing,

 

* Increase client days to allow for increased demand, and improve the financial stability of the company,

 

* Allow use of the Barron Yurt and Panther Basin Hut for overnight accommodations,

 

* Allow guided Nordic skiing in a designated area in the Pasayten Wilderness.

 

This alternative would issue a special use permit for a 5-year term to North Cascade Heli-Skiing, Inc. The permit would allow 1,050 client days per year. Nordic and alpine skiers would be guided along routes identified on the map in the analysis file.

 

The permit would allow the Barron yurt, T38N, R17E, Section 27, to be used for over-night stays each winter until April 15th. The yurt has a capacity of ten people (eight clients and two guides) per night. The permittee would be allowed to guide Nordic skiers into the Pasayten Wilderness in the vicinity of the Barron yurt. Refer to the map on page 10 for location of the Barron yurt, and permitted guide area within the Wilderness.

 

A hut in Panther Basin, T37N, R20E, Section 9, would also be used for overnight stays. The hut has a capacity of approximately eight people per night. Refer to the map on page 10 for the location of the hut.

 

ALTERNATIVE 3

 

Objectives:

 

1. Continue to provide guided, back-country helicopter assisted skiing,

 

2. Do not increase client day beyond the number in the 2001/2002 short-term permit,

 

3. Allow only one helicopter to operate at a time in the highway corridor,

 

4. Allow use of the Barron Yurt for overnight accommodations,

 

5. Do not allow guided Nordic skiing in the Pasayten Wilderness.

 

6. Do not allow use of the Panther Basin Hut.

 

Description:

 

This alternative would issue a special use permit for a 5-year term to North Cascade Heli-Skiing, Inc. The permit would allow 550 client days per year. The company would be restricted to only using one helicopter at a time in the Highway 20 corridor.

 

The permit would allow the Barron yurt, T38N, R17E, Section 27, to be used for over-night stays each winter until April 15th. The yurt has a capacity of approximately ten people per night. The permittee would not be allowed to guide Nordic skiers into the Pasayten Wilderness. Refer to the map on page 10 for location of the Barron yurt, and permitted guide area within the Wilderness. The hut in Panther Basin would not be used.

 

MITIGATION FOR ALTERNATIVES 2 AND 3

 

1. The operating season for the permit would begin no earlier than December 1st, and end no later than April 30th. This would mitigate possible impacts to backcountry skiers and snowboarders when Highway 20 is open by ensuring there are no helicopter-assisted skiers competing with them for runs.

 

2. The second helicopter (allowed only in Alternative 2) would only be used for exclusive parties, or special projects such as filming or avalanche control. This would mitigate potential effects to backcountry skiers and snowboarders by limiting the time two helicopters are operating at the same time.

 

3. The maximum number of helicopter-assisted skiers that would be allowed per day would be 25 (20 clients, and 5 guides), even on days when a second helicopter is operating (Alternative 2 only). This would mitigate potential impacts to backcountry skiers and snowboarders by controlling the number of helicopter-assisted skiers.

 

11. The number of people on guided Nordic ski trips into the Pasayten Wilderness would be limited to 12 to be consistent with the Forest Plan, as amended (Alternative 2 only).

 

EXISTING CONDITION

 

The first places the original permittee (who began business in 1982) took clients were the Silver Star, Varden, Cutthroat, Willow, and West Fork Cedar Creek drainages, and Liberty Bowl (west side of Liberty Bell). As the business expanded, new runs were identified further west in the highway corridor. These new runs, and the areas first used by the original permittee, have been the established helicopter-assisted skiing areas since the late 1980s and early 1990s. These are the same runs used today. The approximate location of several landing spots and runs are identified on a map in the North Cascade Heli-Skiing folder in the analysis file. The maximum number of clients the company has taken skiing on any give day has been 20, with 4 to 5 guides, due to the capacity of the helicopter. The past permits did not limit the number of helicopters the company could use at one time, however, only one helicopter has been needed to provide service to its clients.

 

The number of client days has been strongly influenced by weather and snow conditions, but has been on an upward trend since 1989. The demand is expected to continue to increase, based on this past trend.

 

The operating season has varied each year depending on snow conditions and the number of clients. Generally speaking, the company begins operations in mid-January and ends near the end of March.

 

DIRECT/INDIRECT EFFECTS

 

Alternative 1

 

If the Forest Service does not issue the special use permit to North Cascade Heli-Skiing, Inc., the company will go out of business. This alternative would not meet the purpose and need described beginning on page 1. None of the helicopter assisted backcountry winter recreation activities would occur. There are currently no private individuals with helicopters participating in any of the activities.

 

Alternative 2

 

This alternative would continue the service provided by the permittee, and give people the opportunity to participate in helicopter-assisted backcountry winter recreation activities. The total number of client days would not exceed 1,050, and would not reach that number immediately. The increased number would allow the company to continue to provide the service as demand increases over the next five years.

 

The landing spots and runs would not necessarily change as a result of this alternative. The additional client days could extend the season for helicopter-assisted skiing to begin no earlier than December 1st, and end no later than April 30th (refer to mitigation measure #1 on page 12).

 

The company might operate more than one helicopter with this alternative. A second helicopter would be used if a private group wants exclusive use of a helicopter and guide, or for special projects, such as filming or avalanche control. Even when a second helicopter is operating, there would be no more than the current maximum of 20 clients and 5 guides per day. Refer to mitigation measure #3 on page 13. The second helicopter would improve overall safety since it would be available in the event of a search and rescue operation, or mechanical problems with the first helicopter.

 

Overnight stays at the Barron yurt and Panther Basin hut would benefit the business. The demand for overnight stays is increasing, and having two overnight facilities would allow increasing the number of trips available. Guiding clients on Nordic trips into the Pasayten Wilderness from the Barron yurt is critical to the success of overnight trips in the area. It would give the company the chance to guide clients on Nordic trips with opportunities for solitude and tranquility.

 

Alternative 3

 

In Alternative 3, the company would be allowed 550 client days. This could jeopardize the viability of the business, which depends on an adequate number of clients to offset the operating costs. The permittee has invested in this operation over a period of time in anticipation of growing the business. Operating costs (such as helicopter rental and liability insurance) will continue to increase. The price charged to clients would have to be increased as a result, and could lead to further limiting the market of people who can afford to pay for the helicopter-assisted skiing. Holding the company to 550 client days would not allow it to operate with a big enough financial safety-margin to sustain operations in the future.

 

Only allowing one helicopter to operate in the highway corridor at one time would nearly eliminate the possibility of the company serving an exclusive party and other clients at the same time. The highway corridor is one of the most desirable locations, and the company would likely have to choose between the party and other clients, to only have one helicopter in the corridor. This would reduce revenue for the company.

 

NON-MOTORIZED RECREATION

 

Existing Condition

 

People enjoy non-motorized forms of winter recreation in the analysis area. The most popular are backcountry skiing and snowboarding, and snowshoeing. There are also Nordic skiers who prefer to ski on un-groomed Nordic trails.

 

Backcountry Skiing and Snowboarding

 

The relationship between backcountry skiers and snowboarders, and the helicopter-assisted skiing business has developed over time. When helicopter-assisted skiing started in 1982, very few backcountry skiers or snowboarders ventured into the analysis area. The popular highway corridor and Harts Pass areas are very remote in the winter, and snowmobiles of that era were limited in their capacity to take riders into ungroomed areas. Backcountry skiers and snowboarders almost exclusively climbed directly from the ends of plowed roads, skiing the slopes that could be accessed from these limited spots.

 

Some time around the mid-1990s, this relationship began to change as backcountry skiers and snowboarders started using snowmobiles to travel to the base of slopes in the highway corridor and Harts Pass, and climb to the top of slopes from there. They found unused slopes between those that were being used for helicopter-assisted skiers, and felt little competition for unmarked lines because there were so few backcountry skiers and snowboarders.

 

A combination of substantial increases in capability of snowmobiles, and quickly increasing number of backcountry skiers and snowboarders began to put pressure on the backcountry in the mid- to late-1990s. More skiers and snowboarders were using snowmobiles that could carry them further into the backcountry. This increased the number of backcountry skiers and snowboarders competing for empty slopes and unmarked lines. The competition increases each spring after Highway 20 is plowed open. Since North Cascade Heli-Skiing, Inc., has rarely operated before the highway closed in the early winter, or after it opened in the early spring, backcountry skiers and snowboarders have been able to spread into areas used by helicopter-assisted skiers. This has reduced competition between members of these groups.

 

---- End of Extract ----

 

[ 05-22-2002, 07:31 AM: Message edited by: Lowell Skoog ]

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Heli-Skiing Threatens Quiet Backcountry in Washington

PLEASE COMMENT BY May 27, 2002

 

By Matt Firth

North Cascades Backcountry Skiers

 

The Methow Valley is located in North Central Washington on the east slope of the North Cascades and is blessed with some of the finest backcountry skiing to be found . Local backcountry skiers have long been congratulating themselves on how lucky they are to have such an incredible area all to themselves ( well we do share it with the heli-skiers. ) Highway 20 accesses much of the best terrain in this area. Closed in the winter, it is the main and best access for winter backcountry skiing.

 

The local heli-skiing outfit, North Cascades Heli-skiing (NCHS ), began operating in the late 80's, heli-skiers and backcountry skiers have been using the Highway 20 corridor during the winter months with few direct conflicts since then. This was largely due to the fact that backcountry skier numbers during the winter months were very low and the fact that the heli-skiers operated from mid January to mid March. Backcountry skiers and the number of user days they represent, have increased at least seven-fold over the past 5-6 years and are now starting to compete among themselves for terrain. Backcountry skiers have in the past, and still do, avoid a substantial amount of the premier terrain in order to avoid the noise generated by the helicopter and the tracked powder of the heli-skiers.

 

North Cascades Heli-skiing has a large permit area of over 300,000 acres but uses a relatively small amount of that, concentrated almost exclusively in the highway corridor. NCHS has flown an average of about 550 people per year using one helicopter, though their permit had no restrictions on the number of helicopters it could use. In October 2001 the Methow Valley Ranger District issued a 5-year permit for NCHS to increase their total user days to 1050 and to specifically allow the use of two helicopters, basically doubling the capacity of the permit. There were a few other additions such as a new yurt and expanded use of the present yurt that backcountry skiers have no problem with.

 

A small group of local backcountry skiers, North Cascades Backcountry Skiers, and an environmental group, The Kettle Range Coalition, appealed that decision. The appeal stressed the fact that backcountry skiers don't want to see heli-skiing eliminated, but growth should progress at a more reasonable rate. The appeal was successful, but only on procedural errors, and was returned to the ranger district for further work . It is felt that having two helicopters operating simultaneously in the highway corridor is unacceptable because it shatters the quiet experience people go into the winter backcountry to find. Backcountry skiers already put up with a considerable amount of noise intrusion and terrain avoidance and a second helicopter would greatly exacerbate the situation. Currently it is possible that if the helicopter is flying in one section of the highway corridor a group of backcountry skiers might be lucky enough to find themselves in an a unused area. With two helicopters that possibility would be virtually nonexistent.

 

In midwinter 2002 backcountry skiers met with the forest service and the heli-skiing operators to outline their concerns and offer suggestions for reaching an acceptable solution. The skiers maintained that a reasonable increase in user days was okay but that if there absolutely had to be two helicopters, one had to operate outside the highway corridor so as to minimize the impact on backcountry skiers.

 

The revised Environmental Assessment (EA) came out in early May 2002. In the EA the

preferred alternative, Alternative 2, gives NCHS what they want without addressing the backcountry skiers concerns in any substantive way. This alternative allows 1050 skier days and the option of using a second helicopter for exclusive use by a private group, filming projects, avalanche control work, and special projects. These “special projects” do not seem to be restricted. There are no restrictions on where they could fly the second helicopter. The overriding issue here is the fact that the forest service is promoting commercial use regardless of the impact on the public.

 

The one measure included to appease non-motorized users is that NCHS would not increase their total skiers per day, that is, 20 clients per 5 guides, even if they were flying two machines. NCHS plans to accommodate additional skier days by extending their season on either end. We think this is unacceptable as one of the things that has made heli-skiing tolerable has been the fact that they have historically flown only from mid January to mid March. Additionally, two helicopters have the same noise impact regardless of the number of people in them. By extending the flying season and adding another helicopter there will be significant negative impacts to backcountry skiers.

 

Backcountry skiers would like to see comments directed to keeping the highway corridor restricted to one helicopter (or keeping the permit restricted to one helicopter), and requiring that additional use be dispersed throughout the substantial amount of permit area that is currently being under used. Additional comments about the forest services own guidelines requiring a fair and balanced decision would be appropriate. The forest service has given us no good choices here. Alternative 3 allows NCHS to operate in their historical manner, one helicopter, 550 skier days, but allows no growth. Modifying alternative 3 by allowing 750 skier days and a second helicopter outside the highway corridor would allow NCHS to grow and address some of the concerns of backcountry skiers. If you can only write a short note ask the Forest Service to select alternative 3 instead of alternative 2.

 

The Environmental Assessment is supposed to be on the website http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/oka.

Comments can be e-mailed to Jennifer Zbyszewski jzbyszewski@fs.fed.us Or comments can be mailed to Jennifer Zbyszewski, Methow Valley Ranger District, Winthrop Office, 24 W. Chewuch Rd., Winthrop, WA 99862 . Jennifer can be reached at 509-996-4021. Please include your name and mailing address on all correspondence. Comments are accepted until May 27, 2002.

 

Further questions can be directed to Matt Firth, 509.997.9707 or mattfirth@methow.com

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IMHO: I don't care if heliskiers use the areas. More power to them. Just no Heliskiing in NCNP and no heliskiing in wilderness areas. I believe heliskiers are allowed to go anywhere that snowmobilers can go and vise versa. You can't exclude one motorized activity and accept the other.

 

I will send this on to the proper authorities too.

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I basically agree with Matt Firth. I plan to write a letter this evening and I will post it here after I send it to the Forest Service.

 

I disagree with Stefan that all motorized activities are equivalent. Helicopters are far more intrusive because of their speed, range and visibility. I don't feel it is necessary to eliminate helicopter skiing, but I believe that its growth must be managed to balance the interests of different user groups.

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By the way, the EA is not available on the Okanogan NF website. I requested information from Jennifer Zbyszewski and she sent me a copy. That's why I posted my extract here. I'm sorry I waited so long to get around to it, but there's still time to comment.

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quote:

Originally posted by Lowell Skoog:

I disagree with Stefan that all motorized activities are equivalent. Helicopters are far more intrusive because of their speed, range and visibility.

I think Mike G. and the Rainier Park Service would disagree. They believe helicopters have much less impact than do snowmobiles and are the only motorized vehicles allowed on the hill.

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I think we should build some huts back there and then you can stay for trips and move across the mountains as in Canada. Less impact in the long run and less need for helicopters or snowmobiles.

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I agree helicopters are less obtrusive to areas than snowmobiling at this current date.

 

I am asking for equitable management within the governmental guidelines. Non-motorized access should mean non-motorized access. And motorized access should mean motorized access.

 

Would your opinion still be the same if snowmobiles made no noise and were totally electric? Technology may make that happen some day.

 

For example on my consistency philosophy. A friend of mine was helicoptered out of the Okanagon due to a knee injury. He had to pay for the helicopter. I know of somebody else (a friend of a friend) who was helicoptered from a recreational boating accident by the Coast Guard. No charge for the helicopter rescue even though it appeared it was a more substantial rescue. Yes, two different federal government agencies but completely inconsistent.

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VB and Stefan are talking about administrative and emergency uses of helicopters. For these uses helicopters are obviously preferrable to snowmobiles. They're quick, they only touch the ground once, and then they're gone. I don't have a problem with using them for these purposes when necessary.

 

But that's not what the NCHS permit is about. It's about recreational use. There are plenty of places along the North Cascades Highway where snowmobiles cannot go. The west side of Granite Creek north of Rainy Pass is one example. They are blocked by the creek. Helicopters can and do go there. That's just one difference.

 

The argument that all machines should be treated the same just doesn't make sense. They're not the same. If they were then the Wright brothers wasted their time.

 

Just to be clear, I'm not arguing that helicopters should be banned. I'm arguing that they should be limited. I foresee major conflicts in the next few years if we don't do this. The Wasatch mountains provide an example. I'd like to see backcountry skiers and heli-skiers stay on good terms with a small heli-skiing operation in the North Cascades. I don't want things to get to the point where a "Heli-Free Wasatch" sort of backlash is inevitable.

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Helicopters and snowmobiles are not allowed in wilderness areas or the NCNP for “recreational” uses due to their motorization. That is an example of consistency I appreciate from my government.

 

Thinking about this topic brings me to the thought that some day there will be a heli-hiking operation……

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Here's my letter:

======

 

May 22, 2002

 

Jennifer Zbyszewski

Methow Valley Ranger District

Winthrop Office

24 W. Chewuch Rd.

Winthrop, WA 98862

Internet jzbyszewski@fs.fed.us

 

Subject: North Cascades Heli-Skiing Permit

 

Dear Jennifer,

 

I would like to comment on the proposed special use permit for North Cascades Heli-Skiing, Inc. (NCHS). I write as a long-time backcountry user in the permit area, particularly along the Highway 20 corridor. I made my first climb of Silver Star Mountain on snowshoes in 1976 and have skied along the highway every year since 1979.

 

My comment objectives are:

 

1. Continue to provide guided, back-country helicopter assisted skiing.

 

2. Minimize conflicts between helicopter-assisted skiers and backcountry skiers when Highway 20 is open.

 

3. Manage conflicts between helicopter-assisted skiers and backcountry skiers when Highway 20 is closed.

 

4. I have no objections to the Alternative 2 proposals regarding the Barron Yurt, Panther Basin Hut, and guided Nordic skiing in the Pasayten Wilderness.

 

I am not satisfied with any of the alternatives described in the Environmental Assessment (EA). I believe that Alternative 3 is more restrictive than it needs to be, while Alternative 2 would expand helicopter skiing too much.

 

My biggest concern regards extending the season for helicopter skiing. As mentioned in the EA, helicopter operations have typically run from mid-January to near the end of March. This has limited conflicts between helicopter-assisted skiers and backcountry skiers because Highway 20 is typically closed during this period. The EA proposes extending operations from December 1 through April 30. This change would increase conflicts to an unacceptable level, especially in spring. The following Department of Transportation website lists opening dates for the highway since 1974:

 

http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/regions/NorthCentral/Maint/Area3/nc2002/NCHistory.htm

 

More often than not, the highway has opened in April. For years, the opening of Highway 20 has been regarded by backcountry skiers in much the same way hunters and fishermen regard their Opening Day. It is the prime season for backcountry skiing along the highway, especially for skiers from the more populous west side of the mountains, who have a hard time getting there in mid-winter. Extending the helicopter skiing season into April would result in an unprecedented number of user conflicts. I recommend limiting the helicopter season from December through March.

 

My second concern regards the use of a second helicopter. In winter, when Highway 20 is closed, the highway corridor is the primary destination for backcountry skiers from the Methow Valley. Mid-winter use by backcountry skiers has grown rapidly the past few years, mainly due to the adoption of snowmobiles. Backcountry skiers now use snowmobiles in winter much as they use cars in spring--to reach departure points along the highway from which to begin ski tours. I believe the growth in such use is greater at present than the growth in helicopter skiing.

 

I feel that if NCHS is to use two helicopters, they should operate just one at a time in the Highway 20 corridor. The permit area for NCHS includes areas away from the corridor that are less popular with backcountry skiers. I support the use of a second helicopter in these areas only. The proposed mitigations for Alternative 2--that the second helicopter would be used for exclusive parties only and that the maximum number of skiers per day would remain 25--do not seem like mitigations to me. There are no limits on how often such exclusive parties would fly, and doubling the number of helicopters would halve the ability of backcountry skiers to avoid them, regardless of the number of skiers those helicopters carry.

 

It's hard for me to say whether the Alternative 2 proposal for 1,050 client days will be a problem. My feeling is that the length of the season and the second helicopter are bigger issues. If they can be accommodated within the limits that I recommend, then 1,050 client days may be acceptable.

 

I thank you for this opportunity to comment on the NCHS special use permit. I look forward to your decision.

 

Sincerely,

 

Lowell Skoog

1524 NE 88th

Seattle, WA 98115

lowell.skoog@alpenglow.org

 

[ 05-23-2002, 08:49 AM: Message edited by: Lowell Skoog ]

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Fortunately this controversy is diverting attention from my proposal, which is to operate a heli-cragging business. Clients drive from Seattle/Bellevue to the Little Si parking lot, leave their cars, climb into the ex-Soviet 1978 Mil-Mi 24 Hind that I purchased thirdhand from the Mozambican army, and I fly them up to the remote base of the crag. For a few extra bucks I can fly them to the summit for a panoramic view of North Bend. This operation will insert expeditions into the deep backcountry to climb infrequently ascended one-pitch routes. I figure $600 per person per day is a reasonable rate.

 

Any comments can be sent to

 

fromage@fly.littlesi.com

 

[laf]

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quote:

Originally posted by Stefan:

A friend of mine was helicoptered out of the Okanagon due to a knee injury. He had to pay for the helicopter. I know of somebody else (a friend of a friend) who was helicoptered from a recreational boating accident by the Coast Guard. No charge for the helicopter rescue even though it appeared it was a more substantial rescue.

You will rarely, if ever be charged for a military operation like that. Perhaps your Okanagon friend was picked up by federal contract helicopters? In that case a bill is more likely. N'tl Guard or C.G. are paid through taxes and written off as a training expense.

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quote:

Originally posted by Cpt.Caveman:

I think we should build some huts back there and then you can stay for trips and move across the mountains as in Canada. Less impact in the long run and less need for helicopters or snowmobiles.

A good idea, but I believe the hut-going clientele are quite different than the typical heli-skier. I must say heliskiing seems like such overkill in the lower 48. The vast expanses of mountain ranges such as the B.C. Selkirks just are not available in the states. It works in Canada because everyone knows where they fly and it's easy to go to ranges where they don't. Even then, they can still be heard buzzing in a neighboring valley from time to time, but it's a minimal intrusion.

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iain,

 

You're probably right but I am not much of a skier anyway.

 

Personally I dont care who heli skis where. Shit maybe that is another helicopter to rescue my ass if it be in need.

 

Snowmobiles are ok. It's the owners behind them that make the difference and I can understand trying to just do a universal ban on them for obviuos reasons.

 

I think this is not so touchy an issue for me but obviously is for others.

 

Just trying to open my idea out there too. There may be more than 2 solutions to some ideas [Wink]

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