or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › A ski area is not about skiing, it's about...
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

A ski area is not about skiing, it's about...

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
"A ski area is not about skiing, it's about making great wealth out of real estate."

Read that very interesting quote in an article in the Missoula, MT daily newspaper discusssing a potential new ski resort in the LoLo National Forest.
post #2 of 33
Here we go again. This quote got me: "And the precedent set by the Lolo Forest plan signed by Daniels remains intact. Lolo Peak, it says, should be managed for its potential as wilderness and wildlife habitat."

I wonder how a peak can be developed into a ski hill and be wilderness? I've been to Whistler in the summer, and it 'aint wilderness up on those hills despite the bears and marmots. Do they think that a year-round resort won't have mountain biking all over it? Skiing and grooming destroy habitat without even touching the ground. These folks have gotta face the fact that if they develop it, it will be lost as wilderness and natural habitat.

I love skiing, but we all need to go into it with our eyes as wide open as they can get.
post #3 of 33
because Bush's Forest Service will do a rollback on what is "wilderness" by giving states the right to "manage for what makes sense regionally".

the question is, whose "sense"?

Bush's Admin clearly favors the timber industry. the Healthy Forests Initiative resulted in some horrific "understory fuel reduction" thinning this past summer/fall (some still going on at Blue Mountain) that is butchering miles of good walking/hiking/XCskiing/MTB trails. they don't care at all about the recreational impact, they are giving timber companies what they've been screaming for because that's what makes money for the USFS. and making money is what the USFS always has been about. read Gifford Pinchot's published thoughts on founding the USFS. it was ECONOMIC stewardship he intended, not recreational or aesthetic. that's the sick, sad truth for those of us who wish it were otherwise.
post #4 of 33
I have never been able to figure this out. Why would it be better to leave land as wild habitat rather than build a ski resort? Are wild habitats themselves useful to humans? If only a few people get recreational value from wild habitat, wouldnt the greater number of people who get recreational value from a ski resort trump that? As humans, we exploit animals for our personal gain all the time. Why would it be ok to do so all those other times, but not for skiing? Some people may find it immoral to kill animals to fulfill the needs of humans. Other people may not find it immoral. Should the government prohibit things that some people think are immoral (If so, some people find abortion immoral--should the government prohibit abortion as well?)
post #5 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrzinwin
I have never been able to figure this out. Why would it be better to leave land as wild habitat rather than build a ski resort? Are wild habitats themselves useful to humans? If only a few people get recreational value from wild habitat, wouldnt the greater number of people who get recreational value from a ski resort trump that? As humans, we exploit animals for our personal gain all the time. Why would it be ok to do so all those other times, but not for skiing? Some people may find it immoral to kill animals to fulfill the needs of humans. Other people may not find it immoral. Should the government prohibit things that some people think are immoral (If so, some people find abortion immoral--should the government prohibit abortion as well?)
Gee, thanks. You know what, junior, I've got five extra brain cells I'd like to offer you, 'go-head, take 'em, for free -- they'll double your total, son.
post #6 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by wbroun
Gee, thanks. You know what, junior, I've got five extra brain cells I'd like to offer you, 'go-head, take 'em, for free -- they'll double your total, son.
con·de·scend
Pronunciation:"kän-di-'send
Function:intransitive verb
Etymology:Middle English, from Middle French condescendre, from Late Latin condescendere, from Latin com- + descendere to descend
to assume an air of superiority

elit·ism
Pronunciation:A-'lE-"ti-z&m, i-, E-
Function:noun
the selectivity of the elite; especially : SNOBBERY

ass·hole
Pronunciation:'as-"(h)Ol
Function:noun
1 usually vulgar : ANUS
2 a usually vulgar : a stupid, incompetent, or detestable person b usually vulgar : a despicable place -- usually used in the phrase ******* of the universe
post #7 of 33
mrzinwin,
I stand with wbroun - once wildness is developed it is gone for good... They're just not making any more. With the loss of wilderness, we lose habitat for animals that can live only in those areas. Have you read about the Y2Y project? (Yellowstone to Yukon wildlife corridor - Lolo is located in that area) The aim of the project is to protect habitat in a corridor to allow endangered beasts to move freely and not become inbred due to isolated gene pools (a similar project is going on in China to connect 32 isolated 'wilderness' areas - it's not just us).

There are very few wilderness areas left in the US. Why do we need to consume every last cubic centimeter of natural resource? Also, I have never understood the 'majority rule' argument ("wouldn't the greater number of people...") - it works for sheep and lemmings (sort of), but one of the design elements built into our constitution is to protect the rights of minority groups -

I guess I'll have to wear your 3 definitions too. So be it - you're entitled to express your opinion -
post #8 of 33
The business of America is business! I quote Jeremy Bentham: "the greatest good for the greatest number! Besides, if the borders remain open to uncontrolled illegal immigration, the US will be a balkanized third world hellhole, as a number of urban areas are...and we will need the living room for high birthrate illegals!
post #9 of 33
Right. Are we locusts or men? Let's trash it baby!
post #10 of 33
Here in New Hampshire, prior to the creation of our National Forest, the state did manage the White Mountains forest for "what made sense locally". They sold the uncut forest land to speculators for next to nothing. Logging entrepreneurs then proceded to clearcut everything regardless of slopes or drainage. They left tremendous piles of slash everywhere which eventually burned in huge uncontrolled forest fires. There were numerous landslides and terrific erosion of the slopes. Streams were filled with mud and debris and the denuded slopes lead to widespread floods which caused enormous destruction downstream. The manufacturing communities along the rivers leading from our watersheds, some in other states, suffered losses in the millions as factories were inundated, cities flooded etc. The pursuit of the quickbuck provided local employment for awhile until the timber ran out and then communities were left with depleted forests and a terrific mess. The fallout from this type of management of the New England forests actually was instrumental in the creation of the National Forest system. The Weeks act was named for one of our senators. The aim was to supplant "local wisdom" and short term profit-taking with wise long term management of the resources that took into conderation the many uses and effects of resource management, including water quality, flood control, recreational uses, wildlife management etc. as well as providing a sustained yield from the forests. Bush's plan sounds like a huge step backwards to me.
post #11 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrzinwin
I have never been able to figure this out. Why would it be better to leave land as wild habitat rather than build a ski resort? Are wild habitats themselves useful to humans? If only a few people get recreational value from wild habitat, wouldnt the greater number of people who get recreational value from a ski resort trump that? As humans, we exploit animals for our personal gain all the time. Why would it be ok to do so all those other times, but not for skiing? Some people may find it immoral to kill animals to fulfill the needs of humans. Other people may not find it immoral. Should the government prohibit things that some people think are immoral (If so, some people find abortion immoral--should the government prohibit abortion as well?)
Personally, I'm charmed by the pro-choice/rape and pilage yin/yang.
post #12 of 33
Wilderness has value as it is. Not because it fills some purpose for humans. While humans have the power to do what they choose to the wilderness, it doesn't give us the right. It's not the killing of animals, or even the destruction of habitat that is the root problem, it's the attitude that the world is here for us to do whatever we want to it. We need to be more humble.
post #13 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by wbroun
Gee, thanks. You know what, junior, I've got five extra brain cells I'd like to offer you, 'go-head, take 'em, for free -- they'll double your total, son.
more like give him a total of 5
post #14 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mainiac
The business of America is business! I quote Jeremy Bentham: "the greatest good for the greatest number! Besides, if the borders remain open to uncontrolled illegal immigration, the US will be a balkanized third world hellhole, as a number of urban areas are...and we will need the living room for high birthrate illegals!
uh, isn't/wasn't Jeremy Bentham a UK native, not a US citizen?

besides, who has need for a philosopher and jurisprudential dork like Bentham?
post #15 of 33
hey brounie, wasn't Giff Pinchot a Yalie?
post #16 of 33
gonzostrike Bentham's philosophy pretty much defined the ecomomic interventionist policies of British style socialism. He had some good ideas, but by and large is what Orwell would later call a proponent of "Big Brother." The US government parrots many varieties of continental socialism. By combining a quote by a rabid free marketer, and a socialist, I meant to show that if government wants to take any land, they will, and for any reason. Anarchy is the only solution.
post #17 of 33
"Are wild habitats themselves useful to humans? If only a few people get recreational value from wild habitat, wouldnt the greater number of people who get recreational value from a ski resort trump that?"

If wilderness in valueless, wouldn't a "greater number of people get recreational value" from a Wal-Mart?
post #18 of 33
Is value limited to something's value to humans?
post #19 of 33
Thread Starter 
The quote I cited did reinforce one point to me: The people behind building new ski areas are not really ski fans, they either want to see the the value of their existing real estate go up, or they envision buying low and later selling (or leasing) higher.

I somehow though these folks made money with the high ticket prices.
post #20 of 33
I'm not talking about activities which harm humans. Clearly, we should not have commercial activities which significantly damage the environment in a way that is harmful to human interests. I am talking about activities which harm wildlife only with a minimal harm to human interests.

It seems to me that the only reason people can come up with for saving wildlife is a moral one--that somehow we as humans have a moral responsibility to save wildlife. And when I ask why, the answer seems to be "just because."

Given that the opposition to wildlife destruction is strictly based on moral grounds, the debate should be on how government should resolve disputes on moral issues in this country. And if the government is to take the position of the minority, should it do so in all cases?

Finally, my 3 definitions were aimed at wbroun's insults, not his ideas. People should welcome disagreement and debate, not show close-mindedness by hurling insults. Wbroun's display of his condescending eliteist attitude is one of the reasons liberals often get that categorization.
post #21 of 33
Sometimes "just because" is a good enough answer.
post #22 of 33
Fortunately, "just because" isn't the only reason. Google "biodiversity," "stewardship" and "marker species," do some reading...buy a clue...and get back to us.
post #23 of 33
Where do we draw this philosophical line? What's a "good" ski area and what's a "bad" one? Are all newly-proposed ones "bad"?

I'd venture to guess that *almost* everyone on this thread extolling the virtues of wilderness and unspoilt nature also skis. And if you ski in the West, there's a very high likelihood that you ski on a mountain that is at least partially included in a Forest Service lease.

So, would you like to roll back time and cancel the leases on the following (these are only the ones I found with a quick Google, there are many others)?

Arapaho Basin, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Buttermilk, Copper Mountain, Keystone, Loveland, Ski Sunlight, Snowmass, Vail, Snowbird, Alta, Brighton, Solitude, Snowbasin, Jackson Hole, Snow King, Grand Targhee, Mammoth Mountain, White Pass, Bogus Basin, Crested Butte, Purgatory, Mt. Baker, Stevens Pass, Sandia Peak, Taos...

I'm lucky enough to live in a county of over 3 million acres. More than 2.5 million of those acres are public land. The vast majority of that public land is wilderness. Of that 2.5 million acres of public land, approximately 5,000 acres, or roughly one-half of one percent, is developed as ski areas.

If we were having this same conversation 40 years ago, would Paul McCollister have been able to get his permit from the National Forest Service to build the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort? What about all these other resorts? What would skiing today be like without NATIONAL FOREST SERVICE leases?

As Gonzo pointed out, but with a somewhat different conclusion, the National Forest Service was conceived as an organization charged with *managing* our public lands and resources, not necessarily with *preserving* them. "Land of Many Uses" is the tagline and it still applies.

What we all tend to see as abuse of wild lands around ski areas more often comes down to what happens on the private property adjacent to the ski areas than on the leases themselves. And if *that* is your complaint, that has much more to do with municipal/county/state zoning and enforcement than with the Forest Service.

Bob
post #24 of 33
You guys are really pushing the boundaries of close-mindedness. Congratulations.

The vast majority of Alaskans approve of drilling in ANWR, but people who have never been to the state and have no concept of how large Alaska is have blocked it for years. Instead, we get massive (larger than some states) land closures directed by the federal government because we don't have the politcial clout to make land-use decisions. Right or wrong, the facts are that most small to mid-sized cities in the lower 48 have more influence in Washington than we do. I saw it in Idaho, but it was nowhere near as bad as up here. Some local self-determination (with oversight) is a good thing.

I hate clear-cutting with a passion, but I also hate unchecked wildfires because we can't thin the dead wood. Industry needs to be kept in check (obviously), but so do environmentalists. Land management does not mean selling it to the highest bidder or completely locking it up to protect it from the evil hands of man. Just because your niche activity is somehow negatively impacted does not mean the sky is falling, but if you document the impact and bring it to the attention of those that make the decisions, perhaps a more balanced approach can be found. At least you'll hear the other side instead of festering in your own opinions.

I prefer expanding existing ski areas over creating new ones whenever possible, simply because it localizes impact and keeps one more failed ski area from scarring the landscape. Nothing is more depressing than unused lift towers. However, it's not up to me what people in MT do with their land, nor should it be if their plans are well-reasoned. I prefer condos to stand-alone trophy houses that sit empty 8 months of the year. Smaller footprint.
post #25 of 33
Mike, I'm local to the Lolo Pass ski proposal. I have plenty of very valid reasons as to why this proposal is bad for the area. I know the local economy, the house prices, the ski costs. The ONLY reason for the ski hill at Lolo Pass is to make big $$$ for Tom Maclay and his merry band of investors.

Skiing already is fully legal at Lolo. You just have to earn it.

if you want lift-served skiing, Snowbowl is equidistant to downtown Missoula... and has far superior terrain, as well as IT ALREADY IS THERE and requires no further construction.

Maclay knows that he gets to develop the land at no personal cost. He just offers it up to his band of investors, who front the costs on whatever sources they have (borrowed or owned equity, doesn't really matter), and make a downright killing on the profits.

Local hotel/motel owners see $$$$ dancing in the snow. Big deal. Is there NOT more to life than increased profits? The one thing that NOBODY likes around here is the heavily increased traffic congestion that has accompanied the mallification of Missoula. a ski hill 5 miles south of Missoula would make it worse by manifold times. most folks don't think of the bother, the inconvenience, etc. this is proven by Missoula's history. most every major "development" has been met with a lot of grumbling post hoc because of the ill effects on the quality of life here.

this really is a question of "better for whom?"

and to my mind, the interests of the many -- the great majority of us who live here and would NOT be buying land at Lolo Pass Ski Resort -- far outweigh the big profit opportunity for Maclay and his band of merry investors.

one man's wealth doesn't need to be his neighbors' poison, does it?
post #26 of 33
I take neither side in this arugment, but surely a new ski resort is going to pop up here and there in America because we are a capitalistic society. But I also think it is stupid to think it would be bad to have a ski resort near you house.....

Who wouldn't want to drive five miles to go skiing? Don't people also move to resort towns just to be there and ski often? Not to mention all the jobs it creates. Shit i'd begging somebody to slap a big resort right smack here in the middle of Maryland if they could, but we don't have the luxury of Large mountains due to topographical issues with the big man (god).

In my opinion if your going to say that cutting down a forest is raping the wilderness, then why don't you get on people every time they hit a deer while driving? Or how about everytime a Boy Scout Troop chops a tree for firewood we give them a nice yelling.

My point is if your going to say cutting down tree's to make a ski resort is bad for the enviroment then your contradicting yourself by skiing on any resort in this country. Because they did the exact same thing to create all of the trails.
post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by jstraw
Fortunately, "just because" isn't the only reason. Google "biodiversity," "stewardship" and "marker species," do some reading...buy a clue...and get back to us.
Again, the question is--how does biodiversity affect the daily lives of Americans. More applicably, how does the small loss of biodiversity due to ski resorts affect people's lives? We industrially farm and genetically engineer almost all of our food. Clearly, food production isn't really a concern for the United States. We also farm trees (which is why recycling paper doesnt really do that much good--all you're doing is causing paper companies to plant fewer trees at great cost and pollution to cities). And studies show, the U.S. has no shortage of trees. Pest control has been solved by technology. People have created scenarios where loss of one species quickly snowballs into a global loss of all species, but none of those scenarios have played out. There are millions of species out there. We lose only a small percentage every year, but many still remain. So what? We have been losing thousands of species over the past century and yet the human condition has improved dramatically. How is this loss of species adversely affecting the average American living in some random town/city other than being a moral problem for some people?
post #28 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by EaglesFan581
But I also think it is stupid to think it would be bad to have a ski resort near you house..... Who wouldn't want to drive five miles to go skiing? Don't people also move to resort towns just to be there and ski often? Not to mention all the jobs it creates. Shit i'd begging somebody to slap a big resort right smack here in the middle of Maryland if they could, but we don't have the luxury of Large mountains due to topographical issues with the big man (god).
ho hum. did you read my post? we already have ONE ski area 5 miles from town...http://www.montanasnowbowl.com/

a 2d one closed because it couldn't operate, couldn't sell enough tickets... Marshall Mountain. it's hoping to renovate its business by opening to MTBs this summer, and my friends and I are going to be the architects of the trails.

I grew up in Maryland. perhaps you have some idealized view of life, thinking that ANOTHER ski area w/in 5 miles of me would be nirvana. I'm a realist, EaglesFan. A hard-hearted, not susceptible to emotional appeals -type of realist. And I have seen development of ski hills and "resorts," as well as golf courses... I grew up in Silver Spring and watched Montgomery County go from semi-rural only 5 miles from my house (Ashton) to no more semi-rural at all until you get to Fredrock... 40 miles further north. all in the span of 20 years.

Missoula has got aches and pains from growing similarly (but on a smaller scale because our town is smaller to begin) and I don't know a SINGLE PERSON who thinks that the ancillary traffic congestion, smog, crowds where there were none, etc., have been good for the area. not a single person.

people caught in the midst of growth don't see the changes happening and don't often voice their concerns, because they don't realize how much it will change. complaints after the fact should have historic value, I think. they should teach us what is to come. get it?

believe me, we don't need a developed resort at Lolo. it really won't benefit anyone except the investors. if Missoula's going to have more serious investment of the amount the Lolo project has invited, they ought to be contributing to our town, not to themselves and an elite clientele of whom Missoul locals probably would constitute 2% at best.

a good project that would benefit the town would be to have the same amount of monetary investment put into Marshall Mountain. that type of investment could make it possible for Marshall to function year-round with its lifts serving people interested in all sorts of alpine activities. THAT would be a wise use of a large investment in the Missoula area, and I guarantee that it would have a much lesser impact -- negative impact, I mean -- than would the Lolo proposal.

as to why we won't see the money put toward Marshall, you'd have to ask Tom Maclay why he wouldn't invest in anything that Bruce Doering owns or operates. see, we still have small town realities here. a new golf course is going in directly across the Clark Fork from the entrance to Marshall Mountain. if Maclay and Doering got along, they could've built a golf/ski complex RIGHT THERE. easy as pie. profit for everyone, no additional negative impact. but NOOOOO... the hardheaded cowboy rancher semi-richguy Maclay can't get along with Doering. and Doering's a poor businessman, most Missoulians know that much. so personal politics have caused a lot of negative effects here.
post #29 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElkMountainSkier
The quote I cited did reinforce one point to me: The people behind building new ski areas are not really ski fans, they either want to see the the value of their existing real estate go up, or they envision buying low and later selling (or leasing) higher.

I somehow though these folks made money with the high ticket prices.
You're confusing intention with outcome. Good intentions are meaningless if they lead to bad outcomes. To me, intention is irrelevant. I don't care if the resort owners are there just to make money on real estate. At the end of the day, it is the thousands of people who utilize and are employed by the resort (and its suppliers) who benefit. Similarly, despite the great intentions behind minimum-wage laws, you can't discount the terrible outcome that they have on inner-city minority youth. Capitalism is about generating good outcomes from bad intentions. All the greed and drive to make profit is what leads to the growth, innovation and prosperity that this country has achieved. At the end of the day, it is only the outcome that matters.
post #30 of 33
Quote:
Capitalism is about generating good outcomes from bad intentions. All the greed and drive to make profit is what leads to the growth, innovation and prosperity that this country has achieved. At the end of the day, it is only the outcome that matters.
a fairly manichean view of the world. and not one that I find remotely acceptable as a substitute for reality.

at the end of the day, your statement above is an apology for all the negative things that result from greed. you create without prior permission an absolute value in "prosperity" and "growth" -- although I agree on the "innovation" part, as long as you mean it literally, as in "improvement" rather than "different and marketable as improved".

the idealized view of capitalism you quote is fairly close to Ayn Rand. while I think such a view would be practical if man were more noble in his acts (intent alone isn't sufficient), the ugly reality is that man is weak in the face of filthy lucre. and so, one can only apologize for capitalism. it forever will remain, as Ayn Rand called it, an "unknown ideal." it will always need tempering with the views of those, like myself, who think that profit should be incidental to working a public good.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › A ski area is not about skiing, it's about...