I'd like to see the extremes on both sides of the discussion back off from the same old political positions they held a decade ago. The environmental groups quoted didn't appear out of a vacuum; they were a reaction to old, shoddy practices. They do conservation a disservice, though, when they insist on hammering the same old rhetoric into the public. There are tradeoffs to any kind of land management, but saying "the best way to protect habitat is to leave it alone" ignores the fact that we're here, and we consume goods and services. Environmental reactivism is problem-based, and what the landscape needs are steps towards what resembles solutions. When we try to legislate against the extremes with thinly veiled extractionist laws, we're no better off.
Truth has a way of revealing itself sooner or later.
I have followed the Independent off and on for 15 years, and at times perceived its editorial direction and reporting as biased and leading. With that in mind, after thoroughly reading this article through a critical lens, I feel compelled to comment that this is is quality investigative reporting. I can't confirm all the facts, but having released this article, with the supporting documents in the 'companion reader,' I don't think it's possible for the Independent to have spun this story without facing huge embarrassment down the road.
If this story is without merit, that truth will reveal itself too. I just don't think a local free weekly newspaper would stick its neck out like this, despite facing ongoing legal action, unless it were absolutely certain it was on to something. Likewise, I cannot see any incentive for the whistleblowers like Bowen to persist if the corruptions were not there. I commend you for sticking to your convictions.
I might have missed something in the article, but I'm curious: Is there a family relation between Polson police chief Wade Nash and CSKT officer Jason Nash?
I think Wallace Stevens got it pretty well when he said ..."But I know, too, that the blackbird is involved in what I know."
Maybe it has nothing to do with crows, but it's the only poem that ever spoke to me. Heavy stuff coming from an insurance executive.
Okay, I'll weigh in too. Go ahead and get yourself the beverage of choice, because this could take a while. Ready now? I have plenty of criticisms for Snowbowl's management style. Nobody likes being held back from skiing more than I do. Yes, I hate shivering on the chair when it's broken. But where is it the state's duty to legislate something that we all elect to purchase (the lift ticket), and in which doing so we accept the inherent risks? I too have skied many top-notch resorts in this country, to the tune of 90 bucks a day. I choose to ski here because I like the feel, the terrain and the fact that I can afford to ski myself stupid without having to deal with all the headaches of resort life. I like the lack of crowds, and when it is crowded, I like to hang out with all the lovable freaks that are at the bowl too. Shoot, I really like skiing and hanging out with Betsy, but I just can't agree with her on this one. A couple items of note:
Colorado has set much legal precedence in its legislation at ski areas. You know what that means? It means fines for those who disagree with that legislation. And now, they have law enforcement on-mountain in Colorado, enforcing those laws. What's next, a helmet law? How do we enforce legislation like this in Montana without opening Pandora's box? I wear a helmet and carry insurance, but I sure don't want Johhny Law forcing me to.
Skiing is risky, and if you're going to live your life in fear of freezing on the chair, to the extent that you want the law on your side, well, they have a place for you in Colorado. I hope you don't mind traffic, though. And I hope you're not too upset when you get ticketed and fined for doing what you might consider enjoying the freedom and unpredictable state that is the mountains.
What's really scary is that Snowbowl has just one person qualified to be the lead mechanic for their lifts. Considering that person was hit in traffic on his motorcycle this summer and has crutches bungeed to his snowmobile, I for one am willing to cut them some slack for some shutdowns, even if it really sucks to have happen. And if that mechanic retires or otherwise isn't working there anymore, Snowbowl will be in a pickle.
But all this points to the fact that it's really, really hard to run a family ski area without real estate development. And as much as I think they could do a way better job of running that place, I'm glad it's them and not me. Because instead of getting face shots, I'd be working my tookus off.
Broken chairlifts are indeed a safety issue. But that is a risk that I accept and purchase when I buy a ticket, and if I wanted a more resort-like atmosphere I would be skiing at the bigger, more hyped places. I like it that I can gripe about the married couple and the crusty, sometimes adversary mechanic. Because the alternative is griping about the almighty Ski Corps, which typically really raise my hackles for so many reasons. As far as competition goes, Discovery and Lost Trail do a great job, and are affordable to boot, with terrain more suited to the kiddos. We could send Snowbowl the message by simply not skiing there if we wanted to, let's not forget.
So, Betsy, I want to say with all respect that I just can't get behind this legislation. We make the choice to buy the ticket, and for that reason I am decidedly Pro-Choice. Or, to put it in Missoula bumper sticker language, please Keep Your Laws Off My Ski Hill.
What really compelled me to comment, though, is that I'm getting tired of reading the author's pot-stirring articles editorialized to foment conflict in the local outdoors crowd. Is this to get people like me to comment, follow up and drive click-driven ad revenue? Because frankly, around here we have plenty of other fodder for this kind of nouveaux sensationalism to sully the outdoors crowd. It's beginning to look like the Independent, and this author in particular, is exploiting stories about my peers and friends to sell ads for pot dispensaries, seeing as in his stories all context is thrown out the window -and to no good end. Please, can you think about the implications of being a small-town paper and exercise some restraint?
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