I was told My father-in –law, who was a cattle buyer and whom I might add passed away prior to my ever meeting him, would take a deep whiff of a feedlot, and say regarding the odor many find offensive....”it smells like money”! Well folks around the west are sharing that same sentiment this winter when they look to the sky and see snowflakes. I’m Susan Allen when Open Range returns, when White means Green. The last ‘La Nina” swept through in 1998-99 and while it inconvenienced most of us, in many of our western communities, double the snow fall meant a boon to local business as powder hounds flocked to the rural west chasing dry snow. Skiing in the Northwest is big business, in Washington State alone over one hundred and three million was grossed by resorts and ski areas last year, and in 2009 Retail sales for ski areas in Washington generated a whopping $76.4 million according to the Washington State Department of Revenue. Tiny towns like White Fish Montana home to 8,000 residents become virtual cities when nearly 300,000 skiers converge on them each year. Ah but to maximize on this opportunity communities must have ongoing dialogs on how to make their towns "ski friendly" typically meaning more après ski venues, shopping and shuttles to the mountain, often meeting oppostion from locals. if you’re twon can figure out how to attract wineter recreation dollars, that miserable white stuff can become green pretty darn fast .