Wildfires Burn up Ski Area Budgets

Aspen—The next time you complain about buying a lift ticket at your local ski resort, remember one thing; a good chunk of that money is going toward fighting wildfires elsewhere. During the 2017 fiscal year, the White River National Forest, the most popular recreational forest in the nation, shelled out over 20 million dollars to the U.S. Forest Service. However, instead of the money being reinvested in trails, campgrounds and other services, it goes to a special agency that is spending more and more every year to fight catastrophic wildfires. It’s only going to get worse according to Forest Service officials. The prediction is by 2025, two-thirds of the national budget will be consumed by firefighting. In the meantime, federal lawmakers like Colorado Congressman Scott Tipton and Senators Micahel Bennett and Cory Gardner look for ways to invest money in fire prevention programs. Last year, over 10 million people visited resorts in the White River National Forest including Sunlight Mountain, Aspen, Snowmass, Vail, Keystone and Breckenridge.

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