Reckless outdoor behavior should be penalized |

Reckless outdoor behavior should be penalized

Teach the dog. Last week’s rescue brings up the repercussions for such behavior (“Frigid, 10-hour Aspen Highlands rescue saves snowboarder,” March 11, The Aspen Times). The idea of charging has been discussed more times than the Entrance to Aspen and rejected.

However, numerous times these folks have been cited for crimes. Under law, a person commits “disorderly conduct when, with intent to cause public alarm, nuisance, jeopardy or violence, or knowingly or recklessly creating a risk thereof.” In 2019, four skier/riders were cited for leaving the ski area in high danger and calling for rescue. In U.S. v. Lantis, a hiker who left the trail with no gear was cited after an extensive search and rescue.

Penalties can include $1,000 fine and/or six months in custody.

Pitkin County has a section of code regarding “peace and welfare.” This could contain specifics about “reckless behavior requiring rescue.”

If my new puppy jumps up on the kitchen counter and steals the rack of ribs, and I tell him this was wrong and don’t do it again, I guarantee he will grab again and the other two will start to think about it.

There have to be penalties enforced. To us this behavior is shameful. But back in Ohio, Florida, Alabama, they’re celebrities.

You can’t put a dollar value on all the weekend getaways ruined, nights out canceled, recharge nights at home postponed, and lives risked by these volunteer rescuers.

Michael James Ferrara


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