The deadline for public comments on the proposal to allow helicopter skiing on state lands in the Whitefish Range expired today. Overall attitudes appear to range from cautious skepticism to outright hostility. One of the lengthier responses was an 18-page missive submitted by the Rocky Mountain Region Office of Defenders of Wildlife, covering everything from the applicable regulations and agreements to wildlife impact and the potential disturbance to nearby federal and private holdings. The real meat is in the last paragraph:
This letter has described the complex and varied potential effects of the proposed helicopter skiing operations. In order to completely and carefully examine these effects, we believe the preparation of an environmental impact statement is justified and required. We are also concerned that many interested members of the public may not be aware of these proposals. If it were not for an article in the Kalispell newspaper, we would not know about it ourselves. We found no mention of it on the NDRC website, for example. For these reasons, we look forward to participating in the public review component of an EIS process.
They seem annoyed.