No Snow, Big Problem

July 2019 News, Feature, Industry News Web Exclusive

Sometimes you just have to let go of winter and take a rest from snowmobiling … especially when the snow is gone. However, apparently a couple of social media skiers/sledders took their season to the extreme and are accused of riding in a designated wilderness area on Independence Pass in Colorado.

Now the U.S. Forest Service has opened an investigation after The Aspen Times reported that two snowmobilers were encountered by three Aspen-area ecologists on the Upper Lost Man Trail in the White River National Forest on July 4. (The story is linked below.)

Apparently, one of the two snowmobilers posted photos of his “snowless” ride on social media with a caption “sledding today on Independence Pass on Independence Day.”

Although snowmobile use is permitted on Highway 82 on the Independence Pass corridor, it is not allowed in wilderness-designated areas as indicated on Forest Service maps. The Colorado Snowmobile Association has released a statement critical of any snowmobile activity in wilderness-designated areas. It states: “this behavior is exactly the opposite of the community represented and is deeply troubling. As partners with federal, state and local managers in maintaining great recreation opportunities, we support strong environmentally friendly regulations as it pertains to state and federal riding areas.”


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