As we’ve covered, the latest and greatest thing in snow sports is all about the backcountry. Whether it’s skiing, splitboarding, snowshoeing or snow biking, there’s no doubt about it…this is the fastest growing segment on the industry. If you’ve never experienced the backcountry, I highly recommend it. An adventure is guaranteed! Here at home in Tahoe, we have many choices for these types of outings. Over 78% or 150,000 acres of public land mean ample terrain for all. While this is great and sounds like bliss, there’s a problem…
Most people understand U.S. Forest Service is in charge of protecting natural resources. What you may not know is they are also responsible for providing public access to these lands. With more and more backcountry users popping up daily, herein lies the issue. Before the boom, parking and access was already limited. With an outdated land use policy, construction and road closures, things seem to be getting worse. Lately, it seems like unless you are willing to get up hours before the sun, you can bet there will be no parking at your favorite spot.
Until recently, there has been no way to get involved or to have a say so in this matter. Late last year a group of backcountry enthusiasts changed that. A group known as the Tahoe Backcountry Alliance has created a platform to give this community a voice. The good news, with over 2,700 followers uniting the Lake Tahoe Basin Forest Service is listening. They have agreed to three public input sessions where backcountry users can voice their opinion, which could lead to winter policy revisions. Everyone is encouraged to come out and show your support. This is the time to come voice your opinion to let the Forest Service know what needs to have before the officially start the formal process. Dates and times are listed below.
Where to get your voice heard
When: March 29, 2016, from 5-7 p.m.
Where: The Forest Supervisor’s Office, 35 College Drive in South Lake Tahoe
When: April 5, 2016, from 5-7 p.m.
Where: The North Tahoe Event Center, 8318 North Lake Blvd.
When: April 19, 2016, from 5-7 p.m.
Where: The Humboldt-Toiyabe Forest Supervisor’s Office, 1200 Franklin Way