Although skiers want to see their resorts snowy white this time of year, being called green isn't necessarily a bad thing.
This week, the Ski Area Citizens’ Coalition released its annual Ski Area Scorecard, which ranks the best and worst environmentally friendly resorts. Topping the list were resorts with solar panels and wind turbines.
Stevens Pass Ski Area, Washington, is ranked first for installing a solar panel arrays to power the lift station lights, heaters and backup batteries. Approximately a quarter (14 out of 53) of ski resorts in the Rocky Mountains generate alternative energy onsite. In the Cascades, two out of the 12 resorts have solar and wind turbines. And only two out of the 20 resorts in the Sierra Nevadas have such facilities.
“It’s great news at the start [of] a new ski season to see increased alternative energy used at ski resorts,” says Anna Olsen, the lead researcher of the scorecard.
Rounding out the bottom of the list were ski areas planning expansions with gauging the environmental impact or not addressing global climate change. Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park, Washington, received a “D” grade and the lowest score for proposing to expand into the backside of Mount Spokane State Park without preparing an environmental impact statement, which the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission did not require before designating the land.
“A number of resorts expanded their footprint on our public lands degrading our streams and impacting wildlife,” Gavin Feiger, Sierra Nevada Alliance senior program associate said in the report.
See where your favorite resort stands below.