The National Ski Areas Association issued a statement Monday stating that the federal shutdown will not impact the opening of the 2013-2014 ski season. Forest Service chief Tom Tidwell assured the industry group that the shutdown would not affect the 121 ski areas operating on federal land.   

The federal government regulates expansion projects, environmental reviews and lease agreements that are subject to public review. Most expansion projects and construction that require federal approval have been completed as the season approaches in the $6 billion a year industry.

The ski association sent a memo last week to all ski areas operating with a special use permit on public lands administered by the Forest Service, advising them about the federal agency’s decision.  Ski areas may continue to operate, as the improvements are not government-owned. Privately owned improvements are not to be affected by the shutdown.  The ski areas were advised that the U.S. Forest Service will work with areas that are under construction on a case-by-case basis if an agency inspection or other action is needed.

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