There's a big debate about sleds in the area that Steamboat Powdercats operates in (Buffalo Pass). The problem lies in the fact that the area would not be very accessible for sleds if the cat operation didn't spend the early season prepping the trails in for tours, and packing the snow down throughout the season. There's also a problem with sled groups not knowing how to take safety precautions in the backcountry, so they wind up following the guides down all the safer lines. It ends up taking away from the experience for the paying cat customer, and sometimes puts them in danger- the guides know that a certain side of a slope is safer, but the sled skiers don't know that and might set off a sketch line on everyone.
The sled guides are worried that if too many folks start cutting up lines in that area, the operation will lose customers and not be able to sustain operations. They pay a substantial fee to the Forest Service to take customers back there, as well as preseason prep work, and they could wind up closing up if the area is overrun by sleds. Then, of course, the area wouldn't be that accessible to a lot of skiers because the relatively long drive in via cattrack wouldn't be there anymore (at 400" snow up there per year, taking a sled through deep powder for that far is pretty risky).
I think the cat operation is not looking to shut the Buffalo Pass area off to sledders, but looking for a compromise to keep the groups separate and to maintain the uniqueness of the experience for the paying customer. They also have an interest in keeping the enterprise profitable and therefore keeping their jobs. I don't think it would be as big a big deal if the sledders didn't poach the cat groups' lines, but we had that problem when we were up there- a couple of dipshits without any safety gearhad basically dropped in on a manky slope directly above us, after following us around all day. The guides were pissed- they told the guys to go find there own lines, there's 100's of acres out there to choose from, and if they didn't have the skills to ski safely alone, they shouldn't be back there. That incident was not just unique to our group- the guides say they deal with that scenario almost every time they head out.
It's an interesting discussion, and I'm not saying that the sledders don't have a right to be back there. Sled owners pay taxes and it's public land, of course. But I think if someone decides to go up to Buffalo Pass to shuttle sleds, they should give the cat groups lots of space, dig your own pits and ski your own lines... and appreciate that clean cat track leading up to all the great skiing that's back there. Or, better yet, get an alpine start and ski in yourself- the cat guides will cheer you on.