Posted on January 17, 2016 by Bob Berwyn
Filed under: public lands, ski industry, Ski Resorts, US Forest Service | Tagged: FOIA, public lands, Red McCombs, ski industry, U.S. Forest Service, Village at Wolf Creek, Wolf Creek Pass, Wolf Creek ski area | 3 Comments »
Posted on December 18, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
‘We’re in this time of visible climate change …’
Land recovery after a ski slope is abandoned can be starkly different depending on how it was constructed. The graded run, left, was abandoned 13 years before with little sign of new vegetation. The cleared run, right, was abandoned 10 years before and plant life is abundant. Photo courtesy Andrew Burt/Jessica Hite.
Ski resorts around the West like to brag about their size in terms of skiable acreage, but what they don’t tell you is that, trails that are graded with bulldozers don’t recover well if the ski area is abandoned.
Trails that are merely cleared, with runs and some ground cover left in place, however, tend to grow back relatively quickly to blend in with the surrounding forest areas, according to a study published this month the Journal of Applied Ecology.
The findings have implications for land managers, especially winter sports experts with the U.S. Forest Service, who administer the public lands where much of the region’s skiing takes place. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, public lands, ski industry, Ski Resorts | Tagged: abandoned ski areas, Environment, land use, public lands, ski industry | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 26, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Morning alpenglow paints the summit of Breckenridge Ski Area.
New ballot measure will exclude season passes
FRISCO — The ski town showdown over a proposed lift-ticket tax in Breckenridge ended with a whimper rather than a bang, as the town and Vail Resorts reached a compromise on the issue.
According to a press release from the town, the language of the ballot measure seeking voter approval of the new tax will be tweaked to exclude season passes and summer lift tickets from what town officials have called an admissions tax. Continue reading
Filed under: Breckenridge, Breckenridge Ski Resort, Breckenridge town council, Colorado, ski industry, Summit County Colorado, Summit County news, Vail Resorts | Tagged: Breckenridge, Colorado, lift ticket tax, Summit County News, transportation, Vail Resorts | Leave a comment »
Posted on December 20, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Glading, lift upgrades eyed in draft environmental study
Snowmass to upgrade the High Alpine lift, add new snowmaking and expand gladed terrain.
FRISCO — The U.S. Forest Service is looking for public input on a slate of proposed improvements at Snowmass Ski Area, including replacement/realignment of the High Alpine Chairlift, additional snowmaking coverage, and trail and glade projects. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, public lands, ski industry, Ski Resorts, US Forest Service, White River National Forest | Tagged: Colorado, Forest Service, High Alpine terrain, skiing, Snowmass Ski Area | 1 Comment »
Posted on June 22, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Proposed new water rule in the works for western ski areas
Oh, oh, the water … bberwyn photo.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — After being bullied by the ski industry in court and legislative arenas, the U.S. Forest Service has decided to shift its approach to administering valuable water rights associated with ski area operations in western states.
Instead of requiring resorts to transfer water rights, the Forest Service now proposes adding language to ski area permits that would ensure that enough water remains linked to ensure future operations. The water rights could not be sold separately from other resort assets like chairlifts and lodges.
That would address the main concern the Forest Service voiced when it first proposed changes to the administration of water rights a few years ago, but doesn’t address the bigger issue of resorts trying to establish total control over public resources. Continue reading
Filed under: commentary, Environment, op-ed, rivers, ski industry, water | Tagged: Forest Service, public lands, ski areas, water rights | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 28, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Legendary Squaw Valley, California.
Resort residents want to form town to exert more control over land use
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — The never-ending ski town battle between local residents and corporate interests has morphed into a new form at historic Squaw Valley. Residents are on a quest to incorporate a new town, to be called Olympic Valley, and they’re crowdsourcing for financial support on indiegogo.com.
Using web-based social networks may be a new twist, but many of the issues are the same that affect many other mountain communities, as real estate exploitation and environmental degradation threaten the very values that made those towns so appealing to begin with. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, ski industry, Ski Resorts | Tagged: California, KSL Partners, Placer County, resort development, ski industry, Squaw Valley | 2 Comments »
Posted on February 21, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Global warming means fewer powder days and shorter ski seasons. bberwyn photo.
Snow sports enthusiasts want limits on power plant greenhouse gas emissions
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Watching the snow in the Caucasus Mountains around Sochi melt away at an alarming rate during the middle of the Winter Olympics was a sobering reminder of what global warming could mean for the future of winter sports.
Already, winters in some parts of the world are several weeks shorter, with much higher average temperatures, than just a few decades ago. some ski areas in the lower elevations of the European Alps have already shut down, and in Scandinavia, where skiing is not just recreation but part of the cultural fabric, winters have warmed significantly.
“When it comes to the future of winter sports, global warming has us skating on thin ice,” said Anneli Berube, a field organizer with Environment Colorado, which teamed up with Snowriders International to release a summary of how climate change will affect winter, including increased rate of snow melt, shorter winters, drought, and a shrinking map of reliable sites for future winter Olympics. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, extreme weather, global warming, ski industry | Tagged: climate change impacts, global warming, ski industry, Winter Sports | Leave a comment »