Outfitter allegedly offered illegal services in Aspen area | AspenTimes.com

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Outfitter allegedly offered illegal services in Aspen area

An outfitter that allegedly was offering illegal snowmobile rides in the Aspen area and elsewhere in the White River National Forest is facing charges after an undercover operation by the U.S. Forest Service, the agency said Tuesday.

Colorado Powersports Rentals provided rides in the Aspen-Sopris, Eagle-Holy Cross and Rifle ranger districts, according to the White River National Forest Supervisor's Office. Forest Service law enforcement officers received a tip about the activity and conducted an undercover operation.

"They were offering guided trips anywhere people wanted to go," said Karen Schroyer, Aspen-Sopris District ranger. "They were advertising through Craigslist, social media and their own website."

Colorado Powersports Rentals is based in Colorado Springs, according to its website.

No citations have been issued, but charges are pending, according to the Forest Service. It is illegal for a company to operate in a national forest without a permit. Permitted guided snowmobile service is readily available in every district in the forest, the Supervisor's Office noted.

"Our primary focus is to help achieve greater participation in use of existing permitted Priority Use outfitter/guides rather than issue new permits when there is not a clear public or agency need for additional permits," the Forest Service said in a statement.