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Backcountry Guided Skiing Permitting May Double Next Season At Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

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The number of skiers led by ski guides out of bounds and into the backcountry at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort may double next season.

Back in 2018, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort asked the Bridger-Teton National Forest to begin an environmental review for increasing guided backcountry user days within the areas south and west of the resort. Now it's up for public comment.

The proposal would increase the 1,200 user days to 2,400. That's the number of skiers that guides can take out into the backcountry from December 1 to April 15. No changes would be made to the size or shape of the permit area, while the number of permits for the Teton Pass area would remain unchanged.

In a scoping document, the Forest Service said there's been an especially high demand for backcountry guided skiing services in the last 10 years. Although, that only accounts for seven percent of all the backcountry skiing in the area. The Forest Service also notes the current proposal may increase the potential for impacts on the native bighorn sheep population. If approved, the changes will be put into place next ski season.

The deadline to submit a comment is February 21.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Maggie Mullen, at mmullen5@uwyo.edu.

Maggie Mullen is Wyoming Public Radio's regional reporter with the Mountain West News Bureau. Her work has aired on NPR, Marketplace, Science Friday, and Here and Now. She was awarded a 2019 regional Edward R. Murrow Award for her story on the Black 14.
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