Southeast Alaska Backcountry Adventurers (SEABA), a heli ski operation in Hanies, Alaska, has agreed to plead guilty to the unauthorized use of federal land, according to records filed in federal court at the end of 2013. SEABA will be fined $21,500 or more for skiing on federal land closed to commercial activity.
The US attorney’s office filed a bill of information just before New Years Day that stated that SEABA knowingly used federal land that is closed to commercial use. Of 78 days of operation in 2012 & 2013, 54 of them were on federal land.
“Adventures [SEABA] used land it knew was closed to commercial activity for a March helicopter ski trip. Prosecutors said the company operated in the closed area for about 54 of its 78 total days of operation in the 2012 and 2013 seasons.” – San Francisco Chronicle
SEABA was caught skiing on federal lands after they had a client die in cornice fall/avalanche on federal land on March 3rd, 2013.
A hearing is scheduled for January 21st, 2014 in Anchorage, AK.
SEABA will be put on probation for two years and they will be monitored with GPS equipment to make sure they stay out of federal lands.
On March 12th, 2012, a guide for another Haines heli ski company, Alaska heli ski was killed in an avalanche along with a client.