The 11 ski areas that use public lands in the White River National Forest paid $20.18 million in fees last fiscal year but none of the funds helped create trails, patrol the backcountry or improve campgrounds.
The revenue was returned to the U.S. Treasury.
The White River National Forest, which attracts more visitors than many national parks, raises more in revenue than it costs the government in expenses. The irony is the sprawling, 2.3-million acre national forest — which surrounds Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley — has a shrinking budget to tackle its core missions.
The U.S. Forest Service has been forced to use more of its funds to fight catastrophic fires in recent years. That has affected the money the agency has available for many other duties.
Read more over on aspentimes.com.