December 5, 2007

ski green

In honor of all readers who are in the midst of the first snow storm of the season, I'm posting about snow (skiing and snowboarding, to be exact). I had no idea that ski resorts are evaluated and ranked for their environmental performance. Seems like a great idea!

Ski Area Citizen's Coalition performs the evaluation of western US ski resorts. Their website says, "The Ski Area Environmental Scorecard is the only non-industry, independent mechanism that gives skiers and boarders a way to assess the environmental performance of their favorite resorts. By choosing environmentally friendly ski areas, you can encourage all resorts to improve thier policies.

The 2007/2008 Scorecard includes the latest information on resorts that are:
• Impacting Roadless Areas
• Logging Old Growth Forests
• Purchasing clean, renewable wind energy
• Using cleaner burning, biodegradable biodiesel.
• and much more"

The Scorecard strives to differentiate between ski areas that are engaging in environmentally sound practices on the ground versus those that merely claim to do so. Running a ski resort will obviously create some impact on the environment. The Coalition explains, "Ski areas concentrate recreational use, permitting tremendous numbers of people to enjoy and learn about delicate mountain environments in a safe manner. When undertaken in an environmentally sensitive manner, ski resorts can minimize their impacts on the land and provide memorable experiences for all their guests."

The number one, most responsible resort on the list? Aspen Mountain Ski Resort in Colorado.
The lowest? Winter Park Resort in Colorado.

Local Bay Area readers will want to check the Tahoe results. I thought they were really surprising!!

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