By Scott Hammers

The Bulletin

New policies on using tobacco and marijuana and on the flying of drones will be in effect at Mt. Bachelor for the upcoming ski season.

In a letter to season-pass holders Tuesday, Mt. Bachelor president and general manager Dave Rathbun outlined the changes for the coming year.

Starting Nov. 15, Mt. Bachelor will ban smoking, chewing tobacco and the use of e-cigarette-type devices outside of designated smoking areas. Rathbun wrote that a map of designated smoking areas will be posted to the resort’s website in the coming weeks and that repeated violation of the tobacco policy may result in the loss of lift privileges.

Similarly, the recent legalization of recreational marijuana use in Oregon does not mean it will be permitted at Mt. Bachelor. As the resort is located on federal land, federal law supersedes changes to state law on marijuana.

Rathbun wrote that the U.S. Forest Service will continue to investigate and enforce federal laws on the use, transportation and possession of marijuana at Mt. Bachelor, and he advised mountain visitors to use common sense.

A federal citation for marijuana is expensive, Rathbun wrote, and requires an appearance in U.S. District Court in Eugene.

Also, flying unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, will require written authorization from Mt. Bachelor during the upcoming season.

Rathbun described the new drone policy as a safety measure in his letter, and he added that even when Mt. Bachelor authorizes the flying of drones, pilots may be subject to additional rules and regulation by the Federal Aviation Administration, the Forest Service and local law enforcement. Violation of the drone policy can result in the loss of lift privileges or the revocation of a season pass, and any drone equipment may be confiscated.

Separately, Rathbun reported a number of improvements to Mt. Bachelor’s facilities, including the acquisition of a third winch cat for grooming steeper runs and the creation of an “adventure zone” in the forest near the Carrousel Chair. Most significantly, the mountain has installed a new motor for the Northwest Express lift, which was disabled because of a crack in the drive shaft last February and did not operate for the remainder of the season.

— Reporter: 541-383-0387,