This is the letter I sent to the State of Alaska in response to a call for public feedback on helicopter skiing in Kachemak Bay State Park:
Helicopters are loud, intrusive aircraft that carry implications of invasion and military occupation.
One of the reasons I left the lower 48 was a dramatic increase in helicopter use by police. Current helicopter traffic here on Kachemak Bay is within reason, ferrying people to boats, firefighting and life-saving.
Visitors to Kachemak Bay come for a unique quality of life that cannot be obtained anywhere else, a combination of comfortable accommodations, stellar culture, music, art and rugged wilderness. The Kachemak Bay Water Trail is attracting national and international attention even before it opens. Winter visitors revel in our cross-country ski trail network. Kachemak Bay attracts the fit, strong visitor who expects to work out in human-powered ways (cross-country ski, kayak, hike, bicycle).
Helicopters coming and going across the Kachemak Bay merely to ferry wealthy skiers to the top of certain peaks would go against the grain of Kachemak Bay’s existing menu of activities. People who are willing to spend many gallons of fuel on a whim, who in effect don’t care about the impact of their transportation choices on global warming, who don’t care that their loud, intrusive and annoying transportation choice degrades the quality of life for people and wildlife alike: such people can go elsewhere to ski.