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To the Editor:
As trail manager for Vermont's Catamount Trail, I would like to make a plea to cross-country and backcountry skiers in the Mad River Valley to stay on designated trails. It has recently come to my attention that skiers are skiing off the Catamount Trail and Lincoln Gap Road and heading down off Green Mountain National Forest land and across private land.
The affected landowners are very unhappy with this practice. This is not only trespassing, but it is also very dangerous. This area contains an active sugar bush with many sap lines. Skiers risk significant injury to themselves and also cause real inconvenience and financial woes to the landowner by skiing through the lines. Tubing is ripped down and damaged, having to be replaced -- a labor-intensive and costly endeavor.
Many miles of the Catamount Trail and other popular ski trails cross private land with the permission of the landowner. If we are to continue to enjoy the privilege of recreational access to private land we must respect the wishes of landowners and ski only where we are welcome. Please help us and all skiers maintain a positive image and a good working relationship with Vermont's many generous and public-spirited landowners.
Lenore F. Budd, Trail Manager
Catamount Trail Association