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 December 6, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Powder snow could be in short supply as global temperatures soar. @bberwyn photo.
“A lot to lose …’
The economic woes of ski and mountain resort towns may pale against the existential concerns flood-prone coastal communities and low-lying island nations, but global warming is still a big issue for the snow sports industry.
This weekend, a special panel will meet in Paris to outline how climate change has begun to impact the snowsports and mountain world. The group includes Aspen Mayor Steve Skadron, Rossignol CEO Bruno Cercley, Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune and Olympic gold medalist Seth Wescott, as well as Climate researcher Elizabeth Burakowski, who helped track climate change impacts to the snowsports industry in a 2012 study. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, climate change, Environment, extreme weather, global warming, skiing and riding | Tagged: climate change, global warming, ski industry, snowsports | 2 Comments »
Posted on December 4, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Powder is in peril, so skiers and ski areas are rallying to support the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.
Numerous resorts sign on to letter calling for cuts in greenhouse gas emissions
FRISCO — With so much at stake around the world, it seems almost frivolous to talk about how global warming might affect the ski industry. But in some parts of the world, skiing is central to the culture of mountain communities, so it’s not surprising that skiers and their allies are rallying to support the EPA proposal to cut greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.
As the comment period on the agency’s Clean Power Plan closed, more than 115 snow and mountain supporters across the country including ski areas, local businesses, professional winter sports athletes, local governments, and organizations signed letters supporting the plan. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Environment, global warming, recreation, skiing and riding | Tagged: Environment, EPA clean power plan, global warming, ski industry, skiing, snow | 2 Comments »
Posted on October 29, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Snow guns silent in late October as temps run 15 degrees above average
2014 on track to become warmest year ever.
How will the ski industry weather global warming?
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO —Last year’s winter Olympics helped cast a spotlight on global warming and the ski industry. As the snow at Sochi’s alpine venues visibly melted during the live television coverage of the games, winter sports athletes advocated for action on climate change.
Now, just a few months later, some of those same ski racers who had planned early season training sessions at Copper Mountain, Colorado will have to wait. A run of extraordinarily warm temperatures in October all but silenced industrial snowmaking operations at several resorts, as both Copper and Keystone delayed scheduled openings because of the balmy conditions. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, global warming, recreation, skiing and riding, Snow and weather, Summit County snow and weather | Tagged: climate change, Colorado, Copper Mountain, global warming, Keystone Ski Area, ski industry, skiing | 2 Comments »
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 »