Rescued out-of-bounds skiers could face fines under Vt. bill - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Rescued out-of-bounds skiers could face fines under Vt. bill

Posted: Updated:
MONTPELIER, Vt. -

Every time snowfall turns the Green Mountain State white, skiers and snowboarders rejoice. Rescue crews just hope the phone doesn't ring.

"It's embarrassing, because I walk in the building and people say, well, you cost the state so many thousands of dollars yesterday," said Sen. Kevin Mullin, R-Rutland County.

Mullin represents Rutland County, which includes Killington resort. It's a familiar location for rescue crews, who have pulled about 50 people out of the woods this year.

"People just think that it's not going to happen to them," Mullin said, "and the rest of us have to shoulder the burden of that expense."

Friday, Mullin introduced a bill he hopes will help address the issue. Should it pass, skiers and riders that go beyond designated trails and require rescue assistance could face a trespassing charge. As currently written, the fine would amount to no more than $500.

"Really it wouldn't even begin to cover the costs of our expenses, but it would make it clear that they've done something wrong and they should contribute something toward it," Mullin said.

"There's folks who know where they're going and what they're doing, but unfortunately there's a lot of folks who don't know what they're doing," said Parker Riehle, president of the Vermont Ski Areas Association.

Riehle says most of the lost skiers have been young, male, out-of-staters. Under current law, resort operators, search crews and the state police can bill those they rescue.

"The ski areas on a case-by-case basis have exercised and continue to exercise that ability," Riehle said.

Vermont State Police would not comment on the proposal Friday, but have argued against such fines and charges in the past. Their concern: those in need may not call for help.

Search totals have dropped recently, but with a holiday weekend approaching, crews will certainly be on edge.

Late Friday, Killington released this response to the bill: "Although we have not reviewed the particulars of this bill, Killington Resort supports a punitive measure of search and rescue to pay for the efforts of the State and ski resorts involved."

Related Stories:

PSAs aim to educate out-of-bounds skiers

What lures skiers out of bounds?

Vt. backcountry rescuers swamped with calls for lost skiers

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Police investigate Hinesburg woman shot by male relative

    Police investigate Hinesburg woman shot by male relative

    Thursday, April 24 2014 10:08 PM EDT2014-04-25 02:08:02 GMT
    Vermont State Police and Hinesburg police were on the scene at a shooting in Hinesburg at 8:45 p.m. Thursday night.Officials say a 71-year-old man shot a female relative. She was shot in the hand and chest and taken to Fletcher Allen Health Care where she is currently in stable condition.The man is in custody and police say there is currently no motive for the shooting and that there were no prior issues with the relatives.Police are currently still investigating the shooting.More >>
    Vermont State Police and Hinesburg police were on the scene at a shooting in Hinesburg at 8:45 p.m. Thursday night.Officials say a 71-year-old man shot a female relative. She was shot in the hand and chest and taken to Fletcher Allen Health Care where she is currently in stable condition.The man is in custody and police say there is currently no motive for the shooting and that there were no prior issues with the relatives.Police are currently still investigating the shooting.More >>
  • Robber hits the same bank twice?

    Robber hits the same bank twice?

    Thursday, April 24 2014 7:01 PM EDT2014-04-24 23:01:18 GMT
    A security guard and bank manager at the People's United in St. Albans held a would-be robber until police arrived. And investigators think he is the same man who robbed the bank Monday.More >>
    A security guard and bank manager at the People's United in St. Albans held a would-be robber until police arrived. And investigators think he is the same man who robbed the bank Monday.More >>
  • Man shot by Vt. cop faces charges

    Man shot by Vt. cop faces charges

    Thursday, April 24 2014 7:31 PM EDT2014-04-24 23:31:24 GMT
    A man shot by an officer inside the Bennington police station faces charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.More >>
    A man shot by an officer inside the Bennington police station faces charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.More >>
  • Man charged in Vt. teacher killing wants confession tossed

    Man charged in Vt. teacher killing wants confession tossed

    Thursday, April 24 2014 2:29 PM EDT2014-04-24 18:29:39 GMT
    A Vermont man charged with killing a popular St. Johnsbury teacher is asking a judge to exclude from his upcoming trial a detailed confession he gave to police investigators.More >>
    A Vermont man charged with killing a popular St. Johnsbury teacher is asking a judge to exclude from his upcoming trial a detailed confession he gave to police investigators.More >>
  • 2 Vermont men charged in guns and drug case

    2 Vermont men charged in guns and drug case

    Thursday, April 24 2014 2:13 PM EDT2014-04-24 18:13:57 GMT
    Two Vermont men are facing federal charges stemming from the left of firearms from a Hardwick gun store and the trading of some of those guns for drugs.More >>
    Two Vermont men are facing federal charges stemming from the left of firearms from a Hardwick gun store and the trading of some of those guns for drugs.More >>
  • Drug bust in Burlington's Old North End

    Drug bust in Burlington's Old North End

    Thursday, April 24 2014 6:18 PM EDT2014-04-24 22:18:27 GMT
    Police made a drug bust Wednesday night in Burlington's Old North End.More >>
    Police made a drug bust Wednesday night in Burlington's Old North End.More >>
  • Maine wire fraud trial of Vt. man set to conclude Friday

    Maine wire fraud trial of Vt. man set to conclude Friday

    Thursday, April 24 2014 5:49 PM EDT2014-04-24 21:49:11 GMT
    The wire fraud trial of a Vermont man convicted for the 2010 explosion that killed two workers at a New Hampshire gunpowder plant is nearing conclusion.More >>
    The wire fraud trial of a Vermont man convicted for the 2010 explosion that killed two workers at a New Hampshire gunpowder plant is nearing conclusion.More >>
  • 150 doctors targeted by tax fraud in NH, Vt.

    150 doctors targeted by tax fraud in NH, Vt.

    Thursday, April 24 2014 4:45 PM EDT2014-04-24 20:45:08 GMT
    New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen has asked the Secret Service and Internal Revenue Service to investigate reports of tax fraud affecting more than 150 doctors and health care providers in the state and in Vermont.More >>
    New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen has asked the Secret Service and Internal Revenue Service to investigate reports of tax fraud affecting more than 150 doctors and health care providers in the state and in Vermont.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.