March 10, 2011 |

Borough incompetent on heli-skiing

Thanks to the borough assembly and manager for incompetently managing heli-skiing. During 2010, SEABA violated their tour permit. The penalty for these violations was nothing!

The borough assembly unanimously renewed SEABA’s permit on Jan. 25, with no penalty. In fact, the penalty appears to be expansion of skier days, and unlimited, un-managed, heli-skiing in expanded terrain.

The requirement for GPS tracking in the current ordinance has been ignored by the industry and borough. The industry ignores their permits, and the borough rewards them with additional skier days, and unmanaged, unlimited heli-skiing.

SEABA on the heliski working group is like Osama Bin Laden heading homeland security. Having Jerry Lapp vote on heli-skiing, which his business directly benefits, is clearly inappropriate.

It is unbelievable that a tour company could violate a permit, question the borough’s authority to regulate, cost the borough thousands in legal fees, and be rewarded by the borough assembly with increased skier days.

Why should any business seek a tour permit, since the penalty for violating a tour permit is expansion of the permit? Permits are a worthless waste of paper in Haines. Captain Dave Button take notice! SEABA’s permit should have been denied for 2011, especially since there is another operator seeking to enter the industry. By failing to enforce the terms of SEABA’s tour permit, the borough has disgraced itself, and the people of the Haines Borough. Clearly SEABA is regulating the borough assembly, the opposite of what should be happening. Disgusting!

Fred Einspruch