Does Your Ski Area Make The Grade?
It's been quite a while since I've brought home a report card, but I remember it pretty well. A report card with all 'A's was great (although rare), but grades lower than 'B' were cause for a long conversation with my parents. The '09/10 report cards are out for ski areas in the Western United States. Unfortunately, I feel like it's time to have a long conversation with the ski areas in my state. The nearby ski areas have earned no 'A's, a few 'B's and one 'C'. Not a stellar grade point average for my area.
The Ski Area Citizen's Coalition has published their annual Ski Area Environmental Report Card for 10 years. They analyze four categories of environmental performance: Habitat Protection, Protecting Watersheds, Addressing Global Climate Change, and Environmental Practices and Policies. Those four categories are broken down into 16 subcategories which are each graded individually. The criteria for each grade are detailed if you click the 'View Full Report' link on each ski area report card.
You may agree or disagree with the grades assigned to each ski area, but it is worth reviewing the scores. It may also be worth discussing the Environmental Report Card with the management of your favorite ski area. I'm already working on some ways that I can encourage and help my local ski area to step up and reduce their environmental impact.