Squaw, Alpine score well on annual environmental review | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Squaw, Alpine score well on annual environmental review

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – Squaw Valley USA and Alpine Meadows topped the list for California resorts in the Ski Area Citizens Coalition’s 11th Annual Ski Area Environmental Report Card.

The report, released Thursday, grades resorts based on 35 environmental criteria. Both Squaw and Alpine earned high points for habitat protection in the report.

Homewood Mountain Resort was ranked 20th out of 20 California resorts due to projects proposed under its master plan.

“Homewood resort has plans that are expanding development onto undisturbed lands and their development was noted for potentially impacting over twelve species,” according to a statement from the coalition. “They are also increasing snowmaking from about 20 acres to over 100 acres which draws water from the local watershed and uses tremendous amounts of energy. There are other impacts to the environment which are detailed in the report card, such as increasing greenhouse gases.”

Homewood spokeswoman Rachael Woods said this year’s score for the resort “brought about some confusion,” noting the ski area’s high marks on previous report cards.

“Homewood’s environmental initiatives are and have been extraordinary; and continue to grow each year,” Woods wrote in an email. “Two of several examples include the sediment runoff mitigation program, which prevents more than 80,000 pounds of sediment from entering the lake annually; as well, Homewood has been recognized for its fuels reduction program, which has greatly reduced the potential for wildfire.”

The full report card for all 82 ski resorts in the western U.S. can be found at http://www.skiareacitizens.com.

Also on Thursday, the coalition announced it would take a closer look at summer activity expansion at ski resorts in its 2012 report following the passage of the Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act.

The law will make it easier for ski resorts on federal land to allow activities like zip lines, disc golf and mountain biking.

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