Item: The future role of the u.s. forest service in avalanche programs
Title: The future role of the u.s. forest service in avalanche programs
Proceedings: 1990 International Snow Science Workshop, Bigfork, Montana USA, October 9-13
Authors: H. Peter Wingle
Abstract: In the early years of ski area development In the west, the U.S. Forest Service assumed a leadership role In both avalanche and snow science related research, In using military ordnance to control avalanches, performing avalanche forecasting and leading the avalanche control efforts at the ski areas. As ski area growth expanded rapidly in the late 1960's, the Forest Service started the National Avalanche School and began a process of developing avalanche expertise in the private sector. This served both developed ski areas and expanding ski touring operations. Currently the Forest Service maintains centers of excellence in many staff areas, Including the use of ordnance, and has changed its role from active participation to one of setting standards for permittees and monitoring performance relative to the land use permits under Which they operate. The National Avalanche Foundation, made up of the private sector with Forest Service memberships oversees a variety of avalanche related work and conducts the National Avalanche School on the odd years. Forest Service policy is to avoid closing the back country in order to prevent avalanche related accidents and to compensate with avalanche information services, user education and a policy that governs skiing out from eXisting ski areas. Military ordnance is losing its effectiveness because of supply and age. Alternatives will be needed in the future.
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Keywords: avalanche programs, forest service, future, control, ski areas, back country
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