Mon, May 07 2007 - Clif Bar Honors Eight Ski Resorts in North America for Landmark Efforts to Protect Environment
LA QUINTA, Calif., May 07, 2007—Clif Bar & Co. honored Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort with the 2007 Golden Eagle Award for Overall Environmental Excellence by a ski resort, citing Snowbird’s Pacific Mine reclamation project, a first-of-its-kind environmental clean-up effort along Utah’s American Fork watershed. The Alta, Utah–based resort is now a two-time Golden Eagle and two-time Silver Eagle award winner.
Clif Bar also awarded seven Silver Eagle awards to ski resorts in California, Colorado, Oregon, and Canada for environmental accomplishments in areas such as clean energy and habitat protection. The annual Golden Eagle Awards for Environmental Excellence were announced yesterday during the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) National Convention and Tradeshow held at La Quinta Resort & Club in La Quinta, Calif.
“We are encouraged by the environmental strides of the winter sports industry,” said Ricardo Balazs, sports marketing manager for Clif Bar, a leading maker of organic and all-natural energy foods for winter sports enthusiasts. “The incredible work being done on the part of this year’s applicants will hopefully inspire others to take action against environmental threats such as global warming. We need to do all we can to save our snow and protect our planet.”
The Golden Eagle Awards for Environmental Excellence were established in 1993 to recognize the environmental achievements of ski areas. The awards honor members of the NSAA, which represents the majority of ski area owners and operators in North America. Clif Bar is the administrator of the awards program.
This year’s award winners were recognized for excellence in the following areas:
Golden Eagle, Overall Environmental Excellence: Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort (Utah)
Snowbird made history last summer as the first private landowner in Utah to help clean up mining-era land. In cooperation with conservation group Trout Unlimited, the U.S. Forest Service and Tiffany & Co., Snowbird worked to clean up mine tailings on Snowbird land affecting the American Fork watershed. This reclamation project is the first of its kind and an excellent model for broader environmental stewardship.
Though most mining in American Fork Canyon stopped 80 years ago, the water running from the Pacific Mine was carrying lead at levels 10 times higher than the federal Clean Water Act standard – contamination that once ran into the American Fork River. The project will generate multiple benefits to not only the fish and wildlife, but also the communities that live downstream.
Finalists: Aspen/Snowmass (Colorado), Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (Wyoming)
Silver Eagle, Water Conservation: Mount Washington Alpine Resort (BC, Canada)
Mount Washington Alpine Resort has put in place a number of initiatives in the last year to both conserve and protect its water supply. Through a combination of public education, best practices, and water conservation efforts, Mount Washington Alpine Resort has reduced water consumption by 30% in a period that also saw an increase in skier visits by 25%.
Finalists: Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (Wyoming), Vail Resorts (Colorado)
Silver Eagle, Energy Conservation/Clean Energy: Mt. Ashland (Oregon)
Despite being a small, non-profit ski area, Mt. Ashland made significant strides in 2006 in support of clean, renewable energy. They were the first resort in the Pacific Northwest to commit to purchasing 100% green power, a significant increase from just 10% in previous years. Additionally Mt. Ashland is educating and encouraging their guests to support green energy purchases through season and day pass upgrades. Mt. Ashland’s 3year commitment will offset 3 million pounds of greenhouse gases.
Finalists: Durango Mountain Resort (Colorado), Sugarbush Resort (Vermont)
Silver Eagle, Fish & Wildlife Habitat Protection: Whistler Blackcomb (BC, Canada)
Whistler/Blackcomb placed habitat protection at the center of its 2006 Symphony Project which involved expanding its terrain into an alpine area known as the Piccolo Peak/Symphony basin. A team of planners and engineers, which included a bear biologist, foresters and mountain planners, developed a minimalist design that kept wildlife habitat intact and allayed stakeholders’ fears that the resort was infringing on their backcountry playground, was damaging sensitive ecosystems, and destroying Provincial park aesthetics. Ultimately the project’s footprint was reduced from an original estimate of 40% down to less than 5%.
Finalists: Whiteface (New York), Vail Resorts (Colorado)
Silver Eagle, Environmental Education: Mammoth Mountain Ski Area (California)
Mammoth’s environmental education effort aims to educate the general public, their guests and employees to create a connection to nature and an understanding of what actions are needed to protect it. Mammoth organized numerous events and workshops in 2006, including the Off The Grid Energy Fest and Expo, which educated the public on energy conservation, climate change and renewable technologies. Guest education efforts included naturalist-led tours and employees received compulsory environmental educational training. Mammoth also demonstrated genuine interest and dedication to environmental education by hiring a full-time environmental education coordinator.
Finalists: Mt. Ashland (Oregon), Whistler/Blackcomb (BC, Canada)
Silver Eagle, Visual Impact: Winter Park (Colorado)
Winter Park Resort was able to minimize and avoid visual impacts with the addition of its Backside Parsenn Peak Project through meticulous planning, state-of-the-art technology, and careful implementation. The critical viewing areas of the project from the Continental Divide and the Fraser Valley show a well blended and imperceptible change to the landscape, a result of numerous best practices, including, placing the chairlift below a highly visible ridge; removing and placing back by hand approximately 5,800 square feet of tundra for the underground utility line route; and utilizing computer aided design to pinpoint tree removal areas to blend in with the existing landscape.
Finalists: Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort, Whistler Blackcomb (BC, Canada)
Silver Eagle, Stakeholder Relations: Vail Resorts (Colorado)
From October to December of 2006, Vail Resorts raised over $213,000 for the National Forest Foundation. Vail Resorts and the National Forest Foundation expect to raise up to $600,000 (including the matching funds) in support of local conservation projects, 3 to 4 times more than the National Forest Foundation’s next largest program of its kind. Additionally, Vail Resorts has extended its support of renewable energy by offering its guests the opportunity to purchase renewable energy credits. Over 500 lift tickets were given to guests who chose to offset their home electricity use through Vail Resorts’ “Ski With the Wind” program.
Finalists: Mammoth (California), Whistler Blackcomb (BC, Canada)
Silver Eagle, Waste Reduction & Recycling: Vail Resorts (Colorado)
In 2006, Vail Resorts recycled over 5,000 tons of material at their resorts, or 35% of total waste, the equivalent of saving enough energy to power 670 households for 1 year. Their goal is to recycle at least 50% of mountain waste by 2010. An extensive number of recycling locations, both on and off mountain, allow guests and employees to easily recycle their waste. Vail Resorts also partners with local non-profit organizations such as Eagle Valley Alliance for Sustainability and High Country Conservation Center to find ways to recycle hard to recycle items, including fruit and vegetable waste, ink-jet cartridges, cell phones and fluorescent bulbs. Vail Resorts also began purchasing biodegradable to-go containers for testing at some of their restaurants.
Finalists: Blue Mountain (ON, Canada), Silverton Mountain (Colorado)
Judges for this year’s awards include: Michael Berry, NSAA President; Jerry Blann, NSAA Environmental Committee Chair; Jim Bedwell, U.S. Forest Service; Jill Abelson, U.S. EPA; Billy Connelly, Native Energy; Patrick Nye, Bonneville Environmental Foundation; Hank Cauley, The Pew Charitable Trusts; Kirk Mills, Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment; and Elysa Hammond, Ecologist, Clif Bar.
About Clif Bar & Co.
Based in Berkeley, Calif., Clif Bar & Co. is a leading maker of all-natural and organic energy and nutrition foods committed to sustainability from the field to the final product. The company has received local, state and national awards for its environmental efforts, including multiple initiatives to combat and educate the public about global warming. Learn more at http://www.clifbar.com/environment.
About the NSAA
The National Ski Areas Association, headquartered in Lakewood, Colo., is the trade association for ski area owners and operators. It represents 326 alpine resorts that account for more than 90 percent of the skier/snowboarder visits nationwide. Additionally, it has 400 supplier members who provide equipment, goods and services to the mountain resort industry.