In 1999, Haines Borough voters approved a limited and managed heliski industry with one operator and 500 skier days. We now have three operators, two local and one out of state, and 2,600 skier days. Can the demand for Haines heliskiing under the current regulations and business configuration be met? The answer is yes, but the current assembly is considering changes to code to allow more permits to be issued and regulations removed. Valdez became a heliskiing circus because too many companies jumped to cash in. Our local permit holders say they don’t want that to happen here. Let’s support them and tell the assembly that the community is fine with the status quo. Adding more helicopters to already busy slopes with variable snow conditions, vulnerable wildlife and an increasing backcountry hike and ski community is a safety concern and a bad idea.

Thom Ely