US Rep Bass Hails Passage of Legislation to Increase Outdoor Uses on U.S. Forest Service Lands; Will help to increase tourism in NH's North Country

WASHINGTON – Congressman Charles F. Bass (NH-02) today applauded passage of bipartisan legislation in the House of Representatives that will expand the year-round uses available on ski resorts located on National Forest System lands, including several in New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest.  The Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act (H.R. 765) passed unanimously this evening.

Bass, a cosponsor of the legislation, said:

“Like many Granite Staters, I enjoy being able to take advantage of all that New Hampshire’s scenic lands have to offer throughout the year.  It only makes sense that we open up our national forest lands, including the White Mountains, to more opportunities for individuals to be able to enjoy year-round.  This will help to increase tourism and job growth in the North Country, a win for New Hampshire.”

“The development of summer activities at ski areas during the past decade has enabled the areas to help boost the local economy during what used to be considered our “off season.”  Passage of this legislation is important not only to the six New Hampshire ski areas which operate on National Forest Service land, but also to the businesses in surrounding communities, and the economy of the state of New Hampshire as well.  We appreciate Congressman Bass’ cosponsorship of this important bill,” said Alice Pearce, president of Ski NH, the non-profit trade association representing New Hampshire’s alpine & cross country ski areas.

Specifically, the Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act (H.R. 765) will clarify the U.S. Forest Service’s ability under the 1986 Ski Area Permit Act to allow for year-round activities at ski resorts on Forest Service lands beyond winter months.  Currently, the law limits only ski-related activities in Forest Service ski areas. 

The legislation now awaits action in the Senate.