Ski Resorts and Environmental Issues

This entry was posted by on Tuesday, 4 May, 2010 at

Many people enjoy skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports at mountain resorts. Like other businesses, ski resorts create an environmental impact. They are frequently located in less developed areas around the country, and the additional construction, traffic, and waste disposal affects mountain trees and animals. Ski resorts are establishing plans to make their business more environmentally friendly.

Ski resorts create environmental preservation plans for several reasons. Travelers to ski resorts are often aware of their own environmental impact, since they are studying the beauty of nature while they are on their vacation. A ski resort that causes too much environmental damage will not attract any visitors, since the sights and sounds of the mountain atmosphere will be ruined. This means that the ski resort will not make any money, so an environmental preservation strategy is not optional.

Waste is a major problem with ski resorts. They are often located in cities with many hotels and restaurants, which discard large quantities of food. A plan to compost the excess food is helpful, as well as donating it to other mountain residents who may be under economic strain because the ski resort raises local rent and other prices. The food is usually transported in from other locations, since most mountain ski resorts aren’t the best location for farm plots. Discarded food also attracts wild animals such as coyotes, which may attack and kill other wildlife.

Transportation is another large problem. This includes two main issues. The resort is usually located on top of a mountain. Installing an asphalt and concrete freeway destroys a lot of local habitat, and runoff from the freeway construction is likely to be deposited in nearby streams and rivers. Transportation at the resort itself is another issue. Ski chairs are usually connected to automatic ski lifts, which run all day and use up large amounts of power. Exotic activities, such as chartering a helicopter to drop off skiers on top of a mountain, can be even worse.

Resort developers are likely to face lawsuits. Environmental protection organizations follow these issues, and will file suit to block the development of a resort. Federal regulators such as the Environmental Protection Agency may get involved. Other town residents that depend on more sustainable forms of tourism may also oppose a large ski resort. Homeowners who paid a premium to live in an undisturbed area of nature likely support development restrictions on ski resorts.

Comments are closed.