Bipartisan, Bicameral Legislation Will Allow National Forests to Retain Fees Generated by Ski Areas to Support Local Recreation
Washington, D.C. – Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet announced the Outdoor Industry Association and the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable’s support for his Ski Hill Resources for Economic Development (SHRED) Act. Bennet’s bipartisan legislation will invest in outdoor recreation in mountain communities by enabling National Forests to retain a portion of the annual fees paid by ski areas operating within their boundaries.
“The partnership between ski areas, the Forest Service, and mountain communities is a vital component of Colorado’s outdoor recreation industry, creating jobs and boosting local economies,” said Bennet. “But as National Forests struggle with inadequate funding to meet demands, we need to pass the SHRED Act to keep ski fees local and help our National Forests keep up with the surge in visitation and outdoor recreation. I’m grateful to have the Outdoor Industry Association and the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable’s support as we work to get this done for mountain communities.”
“The $55 billion skiing industry is an important part of the American outdoor recreation economy, supporting more than half a million jobs across the country,” said Outdoor Industry Association executive director Lise Aangeenbrug. “These ski areas – and the local economies they support – rely on well-maintained and properly funded National Forests. That is why this commonsense, bipartisan proposal is so important. It would ensure a majority of the ski fees collected by the National Forests remain in the forest that collected them, providing local officials flexibility to invest in conservation and outdoor recreation projects and supporting conservation efforts to ensure ski areas and other parts of the forest remain accessible for years to come. We commend Senators Bennet and Barrasso for their leadership and look forward to working with them to see it passed into law.”
"Skiing is a beloved outdoor winter activity and vitally important to local communities’ and the nation's outdoor recreation economy — the SHRED Act will ensure that the Forest Service has the bandwidth and resources necessary to support its ski area program and ultimately benefit the visitor experience at both resorts and trailheads,” said Jessica (Wahl) Turner, executive director of Outdoor Recreation Roundtable. "ORR applauds Senators Bennet (D-CO) and Barrasso (R-WY) for their leadership introducing the SHRED Act that will allow for a portion of annual fees to remain with the national forests where they are collected. If passed, this will be a huge win that will both bolster mountain communities' outdoor recreation opportunities and economies."
Bennet and U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, introduced the SHRED Act in June. Last month, Bennet testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources in support of the SHRED Act. Earlier this year Bennet released data from the United States Forest Service indicating that the SHRED Act, if passed, would provide around $17 million annually for National Forests in Colorado to improve the ski program, permitting, and recreation management.
The bill has nine additional bipartisan cosponsors in the Senate, including Colorado U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper. U.S. Representatives Annie Kuster (D-N.H.), John Curtis (R-Utah), Joe Neguse (D-Colo.), and Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.) introduced a companion bill in the U.S. House of Representatives.