Skiers should pay for rescues
Vermont ski areas should adopt a small fee, on every lift ticket, to fund search and rescue operations for skiers “lost” in the backcountry, off the ski trail system.
I propose a 50 cent or $1 search and rescue fee, on every lift ticket. The funds could be held and administrated by the Vermont Ski Areas Association. It could use any profits, interest, etc., accrued by the fund. This creates an incentive toward decreasing the problem. Any and all participants in search and rescue of backcountry skiers could then bill and be reimbursed by this fund, coming closer to making their agency or organization whole.
It costs all Vermonters many thousands of dollars just to initiate a search, no matter how short the effort. An Army National Guard helicopter and crew and Vermont’s special rescue teams cost taxpayers more than you can imagine in on-the-ground searches, planning and training. It is time that skiers truly pay their way in a direct fashion.
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