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>>

  • Stowe couple dead in murder-suicide

    Stowe couple dead in murder-suicide

    Thursday, April 17 2014 6:52 PM EDT2014-04-17 22:52:04 GMT
    Police say two people found dead at a home in Stowe are believed to have died in a murder-suicide. Police are still not releasing their names or the cause of death, but they say the victims are adults. StoweMore >>
    A Stowe couple is dead after what police say was a murder-suicide. The news came as a shock to neighbors who say they never noticed any red flags.
    More >>
  • Leicester man charged with shootings appears in court

    Leicester man charged with shootings appears in court

    Thursday, April 17 2014 6:58 PM EDT2014-04-17 22:58:26 GMT
    A man charged with shooting his neighbor and two Vermont State Police officers was in court Thursday in Middlebury. Timothy Foley did appear in court Thursday in Middlebury. He wasn't there last time,More >>
    A man charged with shooting his neighbor and two Vermont State Police officers was in court Thursday in Middlebury.More >>
  • Woman sentenced in Vt. crash that killed motorcyclist

    Woman sentenced in Vt. crash that killed motorcyclist

    Thursday, April 17 2014 11:26 AM EDT2014-04-17 15:26:34 GMT
    A 79-year-old woman accused of causing the death of a motorcyclist in Vermont last year has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of careless or negligent operation and has received a suspended sentence of six to...More >>
    A 79-year-old woman accused of causing the death of a motorcyclist in Vermont last year has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of careless or negligent operation and has received a suspended sentence of six to 12 months.More >>
  • Man charged in Vt. cruiser crushing has June trial

    Man charged in Vt. cruiser crushing has June trial

    Thursday, April 17 2014 12:34 PM EDT2014-04-17 16:34:06 GMT
    A Vermont man accused of crushing seven sheriffs' vehicles with a farm tractor is scheduled for trial in June.More >>
    A Vermont man accused of crushing seven sheriffs' vehicles with a farm tractor is scheduled for trial in June.More >>
  • Teen arrested in St. Albans bomb threat

    Teen arrested in St. Albans bomb threat

    Thursday, April 17 2014 12:05 PM EDT2014-04-17 16:05:16 GMT
    A teenager has been arrested for making a bomb threat in St. Albans. Police say the threat was made to Project SOAR, an alternative school, Wednesday morning. The building was searched and no bomb wasMore >>
    Police say a teenager has been arrested for allegedly making a bomb threat to an alternative school in St. Albans.More >>
  • Missing Rutland woman found safe

    Missing Rutland woman found safe

    Thursday, April 17 2014 12:05 PM EDT2014-04-17 16:05:01 GMT
    A missing elderly woman from Rutland has been found safe in Burlington. Police say Grace Maddaloni, 88, disappeared Wednesday after what they called a "disagreement." Because of her age and being in theMore >>
    A missing elderly woman from Rutland has been found safe in Burlington.More >>
  • Big buyer for Big Blue?

    Big buyer for Big Blue?

    Thursday, April 17 2014 7:07 PM EDT2014-04-17 23:07:19 GMT
    IBM and chip production may soon be parting ways. The Wall Street Journal reports that Big Blue is looking to unload three chipmaking plants-- two in upstate New York and its Vermont plant in Essex Junction.More >>
    With indications IBM may sell off its chipmaking plants, we talked to the company experts say may buy them. GlobalFoundries already has employees working at IBM in Essex Junction through a partnership, and experts say that could help the company decide whether the plant is a worthy investment.More >>
  • Darn Tough making darn good profits

    Darn Tough making darn good profits

    Thursday, April 17 2014 12:04 PM EDT2014-04-17 16:04:45 GMT
    Darn Tough appears to be making a darn good profit. The high-end sock manufacturer out of Northfield reports the first quarter of this year was its best ever, with revenues up almost 80 percent over theMore >>
    Vermont sock manufacturer Darn Tough reports the first quarter of this year was its best ever.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.