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Monarch among 4 ski areas bashed by environmental group
Rocky Mountain Wild criticizes expansions
Ski-area expansions in Colorado and other Western states may please skiers, but they rile environmentalists.
The annual Ski Area Environmental Scorecard — prepared by an environmental coalition including Denver's Rocky Mountain Wild — found nearly a third of Western ski areas surveyed in 2012 either expanded terrain or planned to develop new terrain.
The growth in ski-area footprints led the Ski Area Citizens' Coalition to assign a lot of D's, including four for resorts in Colorado. Those four resorts — Breckenridge, Eldora, Monarch and Steamboat — did not expand but have announced potential plans to add terrain. Only Breckenridge of those four has federal approval to grow.
"Far and away the biggest environmental impact that a ski area can have is to expand into virgin terrain," said Joshua Pollock with Rocky Mountain Wild, noting that 27 of 84 Western ski areas surveyed expanded or planned expansions in 2012. "Regardless of the reasons, we have to look critically at any expansion and really ask whether or not it is necessary and whether the ski experience can be addressed or improved by making ... improvements on existing terrain."
Most ski areas dismiss the survey, and many do not provide the environmental group with any information. The report card uses websites and public documents to rank resorts using 40 criteria under four classifications: habitat protection, watershed protection, addressing climate change and environmental policies, and regulations.
Read more: Ski area report card dings four Colorado resorts with expansion plans - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_22567869/ski-area-report-card-dings-four-colorado-resorts#ixzz2KhVet8ex