Our monthly update on projects the Regional Climate Change Program is working on as part of our effort to maintain and improve the health of our beautiful "Range of Light."
Regional Climate Change Program Update
November 20th, 2013
By Gavin Feiger
Regional Climate Change Senior Program Associate, Sierra Nevada Alliance
For each of the next few months, we will highlight one of the key projects that the Regional Climate Change Program is working on to help protect and preserve the Sierra.
The Sierra Nevada Alliance releases the 12th Annual Ski Area Environmental Scorecard
For the second year, the Alliance’s Regional Climate Change Program has led the Ski Area Citizens’ Coalition and released the annual Environmental Scorecard. Each year, close to 90 ski areas in the western US are evaluated on their environmental practices of ski areas based on 35 criteria. The criteria include the ski areas’ preservation of sensitive lands within the resort areas, their actions related to water conservation and quality, and commitment to green programs such as recycling and alternative energy.Approaching Thanksgiving and the beginning of the ski season, the Ski Area Citizens’ Coalition urges skiers and snowboarders to choose their resort using the newly released Ski Area Environmental Scorecard.
This year’s 12th Annual Ski Area Scorecard shows that the top 5 Environmental Resorts of the year all generate alternative energy on their own slopes, a growing trend that reduces Greenhouse Gases and reduces air pollution, but sadly none of the top 5 resorts are within the Sierra Nevada Region. Ski Area Citizens’ Coalition research shows an increase in the number of resorts generating or planning to generate their own energy on-site, with the Rockies leading the way.
||Resorts with on-site energy
||Total Number of Resorts
Overall, this year only two out of the 20 resorts graded in the Sierra Nevada either had some on-site generation or submitted plans to install renewable on-site energy generation. Homewood Mountain was the only one planning to install solar, wind, and potentially geothermal energy with the potential to generate up to an estimated 30% of their energy needs. Currently Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort is the only resort with a small solar array in place. Only two resorts, compared with the 14 in the Rockies, shows that California and Nevada resorts need to step up their alternative energy game if they want to compete with the Rockies in greenhouse gas reduction and sustainable energy.
|Sierra Nevada Top 5
||Alpine Meadows Ski Area
||Sugar Bowl Ski Resort
||Boreal Mountain Resort
||Sierra-at-Tahoe Ski Resort
|Sierra Nevada Bottom 5
||Snow Summit Mountain Resort
||Mountain High Resort
||Snow Valley Mountain Resort
||Bear Mountain Resort
||Bear Valley Mountain Resort
For the last twelve years, the Ski Area Citizens’ Coalition surveyed the ski resorts regarding their environmental practices and issued Freedom of Information Act requests to the Forest Service, independently researching issues such as land use and water resources to come up with total scores and grades. Go to the Coalition’s website to see all of the scores, press releases, and documentation: Click here
for more information.
Ciao to Anna Olsen
Anna has been an amazing intern in the Regional Climate Change Program for over a year. Beyond leading the monumental Ski Area Environmental Scorecard project for the last two years, Anna has been instrumental in the RCC Program’s efforts. She was one of the main organizers of the 2013 Sierra Water Workgroup Summit, organized panels and logistics for the Sierra Nevada Alliance Annual Conference, compiled and contributed to the Sierra Resource, supported our land use and water planning efforts throughout the Sierra, and played a role in countless other projects and efforts. Over the past year, Anna also found time to hike Mt. Rainier, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. Whitney, and many others. She also ran six half marathons, a handful of other road and trail races, and played softball. On top of all of this, Anna was a full-time Masters student. We cannot thank Anna enough for all of her contributions to the RCC Program, the Alliance, and South Lake Tahoe. As much as we are going to miss Anna, we are excited to see where her career takes her as she heads to Massachusetts to finish her Masters at Harvard before setting off to Africa and Mongolia as a volunteer as she applies to PhD programs focusing on climate change and sustainable agriculture.
Please join the Sierra Nevada Alliance for our Annual Holiday Party & Farewell Party for Exectutive Director, Joan Clayburgh!
Join Alliance staff, board members, and friends to celebrate our Annual Holiday Party and Dessert Competition on Tuesday, December 10th! Come enjoy some light snacks, enjoy the no-host bar, bring a delicious dessert (optional) and help taste test the desserts to pick a champion.
Also… help us say a fond farewell to Executive Director, Joan Clayburgh, whose last Alliance day after twelve years is at the end of December. We hope to see you all there!
Date: December 10, 2013 5:00 PM-8:00 PM
Place: American Legion Hall 2748 Lake Tahoe Boulevard, South Lake Tahoe, CA
Have you ever wondered what Tahoe's animals do for the winter? Do Tahoe's bears really hibernate? Exactly what is hibernation, anyway? Where do the frogs go? What about the birds, squirrels, and insects? Will Richardson will present an overview of the strategies used by Tahoe wildlife for enduring long Sierra Nevada winters, and highlight many fascinating examples of how they are employed.
Date: December 5
Place: Incline Village, CA
More Information: Click here for more information
Amador City Community Hall
14531 East School St.
Amador City, CA
Join Farms of Amador for a potluck gathering to learn about developing and operating a small scale commercial kitchen. Professional caterers Lucy Spangler Gore and Bill Gore will share their experience in building and operating a small scale commercial kitchen in Amador Co. Farms of Amador is excited to present this topic, the development of which will allow farmers to process their products in order to add value and increase customer appeal. This will also be an opportunity to network with the region's food producers, chefs and consumers interested in quality regional foods. Cost of the event is $10 for those who bring a pot-luck dish to share and $15 for those who come without a dish. Please bring your own place setting in an effort to reduce waste.
Date: December 7th
Place: Amador City, CA
More Information: Click here for more information
Comic of the Month
Newsletter contents prepared by Danny Lapin.
If you have articles, events or announcements that you would like included in this newsletter or if you have feedback, please email [email protected].