Vt. weighs criminalizing skiing beyond boundaries
By Associated Press, 2/20/2003

ONTPELIER - Skiers and snowboarders who go out of bounds might soon risk
more than just a hefty bill if they have to be rescued: The Vermont Ski
Areas Association would like to see them face criminal charges as well.

Making out-of-bounds skiing a criminal offense would not only deter such
behavior, but it would help State Police, ski areas, and local rescue
services collect their money when they bill the rescued skiers, Parker
Riehle of the Vermont Ski Areas Association told the Senate Government
Operations Committee at a hearing yesterday.

''In terms of recouping their costs, I think a bill from the state
police backed up by [Vermont Attorney General] Bill Sorrell will have a
heck of a lot more weight than one coming from the ski area,'' Riehle said.

The panel heard testimony on the issue of refining the 1994 state law
that allows ski areas and other entities to bill for rescues.

Currently, State Police bill some skiers for their overtime on some
rescues; some ski areas also bill for rescue expenses.

People who skied out of bounds by accident wouldn't have to pay. That's
the system now in place at Jay Peak, said Bill Stenger, the president of
the resort.

''If we judge that a party has stupidly [gone out of bounds], and put
their own interests above those of the people... responsible for serving
the area, we bill them,'' Stenger said. However, he opposes criminal

This story ran on page B9 of the Boston Globe on 2/20/2003.
 Copyright 2003 Globe Newspaper Company.

Some discussion already at:

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