Senate passes bill for summer use of ski areas

President Obama signed the Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act of 2011 on Nov. 7, which permits year-long recreational opportunities on U.S. Forest Service ski areas. The act is expected to boost rural economies while continuing to maintain stringent environmental safeguards. The year-long recreation season is estimated to annually sustain up to 600 extra jobs and is expected to bring in an additional $40 million to local communities in direct spending. The new legislation amends the National Forest Ski Area Permit Act of 1986, which allowed only Nordic and alpine skiing. Potential summer activities include zip lines, mountain bike terrain parks and trails, Frisbee golf courses and ropes courses.

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