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Ski Areas Get Environmental Grades

An environmental coalition says ski resorts in the California-Nevada region have the best average environmental scores of any Western ski region.

Colorado-New Mexico and Oregon- Washington are a close second and third, Utah is fourth and the Idaho-Montana-Wyoming region ranks last in environmental friendliness.

Local Dodge Ridge ski area received a “C” grade for its environmental friendliness.

The low score was due to the ski area´s recent expansion into wilderness areas, adding 264 acres of new skiing terrain, putting in new roads and infringing upon animal, plant and aquatic species habitat with its new Chair 8 development project.

High points for the ski resort were in the areas of leaving stumps in place after cutting for ski runs rather than bulldozing, not opposing any environmentally progressive government policies, employing water conservation measures, and recycling and using recycled materials.

Bear Valley Mountain Resort also got a “C” grade, dinged for expansion projects and snow making. Kirkwood Mountain Resort received a “D” score.

It´s the first time the Ski Areas Citizens´ Coalition is comparing ski regions – though the group has issued an annual report card on the environmental practices of 70 individual ski resorts since 1997.

The National Ski Areas Association has its own “sustainable slopes” program and rejects the coalition´s ranking as vague and biased.

You can read the rankings at www.skiareacitizens.com