Originally Posted by sjjohnston
Any construction on Forest Service land requires Forest Service approval of the whole she-bang. To get that, for anything significant, one is required to do huge amounts of work on environmental issues. We're talking about millions of dollars of fees to environmental engineers who do, indeed, have "real proven knowledge" of all those issues, as does the Forest Service.
The groups that make up this "Ski Area Citizens' Coalition" just take a flat, unreasoned, "all-building-is-bad" position. They're basically a variant of NIMBYs.
I am aware of the Forest Service Studies and all of the money poured into them. What I am suggesting is that groups like the Ski Area Citizen's Coalition include people in their
ranks who have outside, non-governmental knowledge of these issues as well. Might make them a bit more appealing to the groups doing the development, and might create something more akin to a partnership instead of a scourging.
I do want to point out, however, that although all of these environmental impact studies have to be done/have been done (and millions have been spent), we're still seeing a good deal of development that isn't all that sustainable or low-impact. Just doesn't seem to me that all of the very expensive Forest Service studies are necessarily accomplishing all that much for the sustainability side of the equation. Maybe we should be asking some different questions and using some different measures, since we are asking the developers to spend so much money on these things.
As a point of fact, it might interest you to know, since you are (I think) assuming that I am completely on the other side of the fence, that my husband is actually in the resort real estate biz. Not saying with whom or where, as it's me posting, not him, but I have a certain vested interest in the success of ski area real estate.
I just don't see why development and common sense about natural resources always have to be perceived to be in conflict. Development can be done in a sustainable fashion, with an eye toward the future. It has been done elsewhere and it can
be done in the mountains.
Maybe not everyone on the scorecard with an "F" deserved an "F", and certainly there is bias in these grades. . . but perhaps something can be learned from the folks who got "As," rather than worrying so much about who got "Fs" and what sort of personal & political bias might have been involved?
Hell, my favorite ski resort got a crappy grade. That bums me out. . . but I'd like to find a way to help them become an "A," rather than worrying about the "whos" and the "whys" of that D/F.