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Allen (and Ben) - they can tell you pretty much whatever they want to 
tell you.  Seems we go through this every year or two, but the 
important thing to remember is that ski areas operating on public 
land lease that land and, to put it in simplified terms, have the 
same rights as you'd have as a tenant in a rented house.  Your 
landlord has the right to come in any time (within reason, as spelled 
out in the lease) but you  have the right to tell anyone you don't 
want in your rented house to leave.  In the case of ski areas 
operated by a governmental entity, such as Gunstock, Cannon or 
Whiteface, that governmental entity has established certain policies 
and entrusted certain employees to operate that area as they best see fit.

Bottom line is that as the lease holder, unless there is a specific 
exclusion to same in their lease of the land, or the management of a 
government-owned ski area, can INDEED tell you to leave, can indeed 
tell you that you're not permitted to hike, tell you pretty much 
whatever they want.  They cannot tell you to leave adjacent land that 
isn't within their leased or controlled area - but oddly enough, 
there tend not to be ski trails in those areas.  Furthermore, 
especially early season, the ski area  owns the snow, particularly if 
they made it, and they also made the leasehold improvements (to wit, 
mowing) that allows six or eight inches of even natural snow to be skiable.

Bottom line:  the public may actually OWN the land the ski area sits 
on, through the auspices of government. The government has deemed it 
advantageous to the public to lease that land (or operate it by itself).

The management of those ski areas has EVERY right to tell you not to 
ski it, and you are NOT striking a blow for the little guy by getting 
snotty about it.

Sorry.  But that's the way it is.

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