Each year, The Skiing Company, publisher of SKI, honors ski resorts that have taken activist roles in confronting environmental issues. These resorts move beyond predictable programs to find creative solutions. The 1999 winners are:
The Golden Eagle Award
The Aspen Skiing Company was the first major ski resort to establish a senior level management position dedicated to environmental issues. From that all good things flow, including a first-ever grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to a ski resort to create an industry-wide pollution-prevention strategy, an employee-funded Environment Foundation and a wind-powered lift, which was constructed without use of damaging motorized equipment. Much of what Aspen has accomplished has little to do with skiing or the bottom line and everything to do with protecting the environment.
Silver Eagle Awards
Massanutten, Va., for Water Conservation and Wastewater Management; Whistler/Blackcomb, B.C., for Fish and Wildlife Habitat Protection and Environmental Group Relations; Boston Mills/Brandywine Resort, Ohio, for Energy Conservation; the Aspen Skiing Company, Colo., for Environmental Education; and Loon Mountain, N.H., for Environmental Visual Impact.
Skiing's Eco Charter
Dozens of North American ski resorts have banded together to create a Ski Industry Environmental Charter, a landmark program to help resorts improve their environmental performance. The project is directed by the National Ski Areas Association in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Keystone Center. Regional "stakeholders meetings," with representation from resorts, governmental agencies, environmental groups and others, are being held this year. The charter will include skiing's environmental vision and guidelines to promote environmentally sensitive resort operations, covering topics ranging from reduction of snowmaking water use to encouraging mass transit ridership. The charter also will address the education of resort guests.