Wednesday, June 3, 2009


SUMMIT COUNTY — Visiting Colorado's iconic Arapahoe Basin Ski & Snowboard Area, Gov. Bill Ritter today signed into law the Healthy Forests/Vibrant Communities Act of 2009, as well as a bill that creates Colorado's first ski and snowboard license plate.


Both bills were sponsored by Rep. Christine Scanlan and Sen. Dan Gibbs. House Bill 1199 will help protect the state's prized forestlands, assist local communities and stimulate economic activity.


"Colorado's forests drive our recreation and tourism industries and produce valuable materials for the timber, construction and renewable energy markets," Gov. Ritter said. "But our forests are struggling with unprecedented challenges from the pine beetle epidemic and other risks. This omnibus forest health bill addresses these challenges head-on, ensuring that communities are able to assess and respond to wildfire and other risks, and moving us toward long-term forest restoration."


In addition to reducing the risk of wildfire, the bill will protect watersheds and Colorado's electric power grid, and encourage business opportunities for wood-products entrepreneurs.


"This is an aggressive step forward for Colorado," said Rep. Scanlan. "It's critical legislation, providing state entities, private landowners and local communities assistance addressing wildfire threats using innovative strategies.  This legislation will facilitate market-based solutions to help Colorado effectively combat the bark beetle infestation."

Gov. Ritter today also signed Senate Bill 161, which creates the nation's first license plate depicting both skiing and snowboarding.


"For decades now, people have wondered why Colorado doesn't offer a ski license plate," Gov. Ritter said. "After all, Colorado is the ski and snowboard capital of the world. Colorado's skiers and snowboarders are a unique part of our culture, and I am delighted to sign this bill into law."


"I have nine ski resorts in my area and I know how integral theses businesses are to Colorado's economy, leisure and identity," said Sen. Dan Gibbs.  "By creating this ski country license plate people will be able to show their support for a very important part of Colorado."


"Colorado is not only the country's ski capitol, but its riding capitol too.  Of course, this isn't news to Coloradans, but it's still nice to show off to our out-of-town guests," said Rep. Scanlan. 


Friday is the final day for Gov. Ritter to take action on bills from the 2009 legislative session. Click here or visit for a complete list of 2009 bills signed into law.


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