Girdwood company wins heliskiing contract

Posted: Tuesday, February 11, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Helicopters can continue to fly skiers and snowboarders into the Chugach National Forest backcountry this winter after the U.S. Forest Service approved a one-year permit for a Girdwood company.

Chugach Powder Guides won several new landing zones on national forest land, though it lost others, said co-owner Mike Overcast. But overall, the company came out ahead. Under the new permit, CPG gets 1,200 skier days this winter, up from 800 last year. One person skiing or snowboarding for one day equals one skier day.

''We're happy with what we got,'' Overcast said.

The company was given a total of seven landing sites.

CPG had originally sought three additional sites near Moose Pass. That prompted complaints by local residents. Chugach Powder Guides dropped the Moose Pass-area sites from its one-year permit request, saying it wanted to be a good neighbor.

The Forest Service has promised a decision on a five-year permit request this summer.

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