The Forest Service has stepped into the Four Snowboarders vs. Alta lawsuit over the ‘unconstitutional’ ban of snowboarding from Alta, and has asked the judge to dismiss the lawsuit against Alta. In January four boarders banded together to create Wasatch Equality, a nonprofit organization, and filed a lawsuit against Alta for violating the 14th amendment.
The 14th amendment was created to protect certain classes of people from discrimination. Classes of people in the 14th amendment are defined by:
- Equal Pay/Compensation
- Genetic Information
- National Origin
- Sexual Harassment
Unfortunately for the boarders, snowboarders are not a protected class of people according to the 14th amendment.
Welcome to Alta. photo: opensnow.com
The Forest Service said that Alta has rational reasons for banning snowboarders. The resort’s approved operating plan gives it the right to exclude any skiing device deemed a harmful risk to snow quality or not consistent with its business decisions.
The Forest Service went on to say that “…due to federal immunity, the court does not have jurisdiction to hear the case.” The snowboarders failed to show any mutual interest between Alta and the USFS for banning snowboarding from the area. The USFS pointed out that of over 100 ski areas in 13 states on USFS land only Alta bans snowboarding. On these grounds the Forest Service has asked the federal judge to dismiss the case. If the case is thrown out, this will be along the lines of a legal routing for the snowboarders.
For the time being, Alta will stay Alta. At a certain point, being a skier’s only mountain is a deep part of what Alta is about and a seriously radical change would be needed to change this.
What’s your take on this?