NSAA Files Lawsuit Against USFS
SAM Magazine--January 10, 2012--The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) filed a lawsuit in Federal court in the district of Colorado today against the U.S.D.A. Forest Service (USFS) to challenge a new water rights clause that results in "an unconstitutional taking of property."
At issue is a new water rights clause enacted by the USFS late last year that requires ski areas operating on FS land to transfer ownership of many water rights to the U.S. government, including water rights that have been purchased by ski areas for business operations. The new clause changes a 2004 agreement reached between the FS and the ski industry that allowed for co-ownership of water rights inside a ski area's permit area. To date, three areas have already been required to accept the clause: Powderhorn, Colo., Alpine Meadows, Calif., and Stevens Pass, Wash.
According to the NSAA, requiring ski areas to transfer ownership or limit the sale of water rights without compensation is no different than the government forcing a transfer of chairlifts, grooming vehicles, etc., without compensation.
To see NSAA's entire position statement, check out www.nsaa.org/nsaa/press/1112/NSAA-Water-Rights-Clause.pdf \