Own Land Near a Ski Area? Look out and be nice! (June 23, 2005)


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | June 23, 2005      

San Juan County, Colorado commissioners recently voted unanimously to condemn property near the controversial Silverton Ski Area. The stated reason for the condemnation, according to a Durango Herald article, is that property owner Jim Jackson made it difficult to perform avalanche control work necessary for public safety on a public road.

It’s no secret that Jackson was in the habit of whining about skiers trespassing on his property, and locals were getting tired of hearing about it — especially as it began to appear that the new ski area might be experiencing a modicum of success — or at least providing something amusing in a town where previous winters harkened to the isolation of places like Barrow, Alaska (only without an airport).

Thus, this appears to be a case of Jackson pushing a bit too hard against something that’s popular (including his bringing a lawsuit). Why he couldn’t be more accommodating is a mystery; perhaps he was hoping for condemnation and the automatic sale at “market value” that would ensue. Indeed, the hodge of steep avalanche terrain and mining claims that comprises Jackson’s property didn’t appear to have much development potential — other than skiing.

Adding more interest to the situation, today the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that local governments have broad power to take over private property to make way for private development that is claimed to have some sort of public benefit.

Socialists and trusters of government “wisdom” may applaud all the above, but caution is advised. Much of our country’s economic success (which all we “public” benefit from, no matter our political viewpoints) is based on private property rights, and erosion of such is cause for concern. As a recreation advocate I’m of course happy to see government support of Silverton Ski Area’s needs, but could my house be condemned because it’s in the way of a cool skate park that’s being built, or a shopping mall, or a new ski area? Prior to today I would have laughed at this assertion, but now I’m not so sure.

One thing is certain, Colorado’s big government mountain towns like Aspen and Boulder will probably celebrate all this in the streets. If they don’t like what’s going on with some private property, it’s easier than ever for them to simply condemn it and take control. Aspen needs more million dollar employee housing units? Condemn the Hotel Jerome and convert it into price controlled condos for “public benefit.” Boulder wants more places to shop for hemp clothing? Condemn a few houses and turn them into stores (ahh, I can already smell the patchouli oil). Vail wants a bigger ski area? Grab some property. And on.

Comments

Comments are closed.

  Your Comments

  • Michael: Jeff, I'd also make sure the rubber boot sole isn't interfering with comple...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Ok boys and girls, I spent an hour fooling around with a Dynafit "shark nos...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Jeff, if you're trying to do precise release settings, you probably need to...
  • Jeff: Anyone struggling with pre-release on the Radical 2.0? I had two very pain...
  • Joseph: I'm at 3.3kg now including the airbag and all safety gear. 1st aid, tools, ...
  • jasper: Atfred, I have my BD Saga 40 jetforce bag at 23 pounds (10400g). Which incl...
  • MarkL: David - I realize your post was a while ago, but just in case...The plastic...
  • harpo: I have two Life Link releasable grips still inservice, one on a LL variable...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Interestingly, I often carried a much lighter pack while ski touring in the...
  • atfred: With all this talk about lightweight packs, carbon cylinders, etc., I would...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Ok, thanks Bob, I'll look at it. You're probably right. Lou...
  • Bob: Lou, It seems to me that the shape of the boot toe on the TLT7 could poten...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Lee, the empty carbon cylinder can easily be shipped back to Europe, by air...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Hi guys, I've experimented for years with boot position on ski, I agree, 5 ...
  • Lee: Unless things have changed this is not available in US if you need to send ...
  • PieterG: @Todd: if you are currently mounted at bootcenter and you opt for a shoe wh...
  • Matus: Dave, thanks for clarification. If the backpack fits it is great. With carb...
  • eggbert: Thanks Lou for chasing this down. I looked at the Diamir site and they put...
  • Todd: Thanks Lou. The older binding is on a K2 Coomback (the older 102? underfoot...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Todd, depends on the ski and other ergonomic factors. For example, if you'r...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Hack, the trigger handle stows quite nicely. The cylinder can also be unscr...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Gary, they fit fine inside if I'm wearing layers, and can be mounted on the...
  • Todd: I'm possibly going to update my boots and what I'm looking at has a shorter...
  • Jay: This is probably caught up in number 5, but several recent incidents have s...
  • hacksaw: Is it easy to "disarm " the pack for heliskiing?...
  • Gary: Cool small air bag pack, but where do your skins go for the downhill?...
  • Michael: sweet, wasn't aware that was an option. Looking even more appealing. Now ...
  • Lou Dawson 2: The carbon cylinder is filled with nitrogen, and apparently is not very eas...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Eggbert, the release of the Vipec has nothing to do with the shape of the b...
  • Lee: Europe has had carbon cylinders for quite a few years. In the US it is the...

  Recent Posts


Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

All material on this website is copyrighted, the name WildSnow is trademarked, permission required for reproduction (electronic or otherwise) and display on other websites. PLEASE SEE OUR COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK INFORMATION.

Backcountry skiing is dangerous. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. While the authors and editors of the information on this website make every effort to present useful information about ski mountaineering, due to human error the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow owners and contributors of liability for use of said items for ski touring or any other use.

Switch To Mobile Version