Mountain News 

A weekly roundup of what’s happening in other mountain towns

Compiled by Allen Best

Ski area operators endorse global warming proposal

ASPEN, Colo. — Two-dozen ski area operators have expressed support for the McCain-Lieberman Climate Stewardship Act. The proposed bill seeks to reduce emission of heat-trapping greenhouse gases from sources in the United States.

The Aspen Skiing Co. originated this position, and the National Ski Areas Association agreed to shepherd support more broadly from within the ski industry. That group, NSAA, earlier this year had begun fostering awareness of global warming and the ski industry’s vulnerability.

Evidence is conclusive that substantial global warming has been occurring. In the last several years scientists have largely come to agreement that people are causing some of that warming, although there is much that scientists are still unclear about.

Among the uncertainties are how global warming will affect localized areas, but models developed by scientists broadly "suggest that as warming continues, we could experience decreased snowpack, warmer nights, wetter shoulder seasons, and reduced weather predictability," according to the letter signed by the ski areas.

Most vulnerable are those ski areas located at lower elevations and with shorter winters. But even higher elevation ski areas, according to these same models, could be subjected to increasingly erratic storm cycles.

Ski areas for some years rejected the global warming debate, arguing that ski areas themselves do not contribute significantly to greenhouse gases. This letter takes much of that attitude. It says, "We are a relatively small source of greenhouse gas emissions, however, and will need the help of other industries to turn this problem around. We support the Climate Stewardship Act because it will encourage major industrial emitters to invest in the most cost-effective means to reduce emissions."

The following ski areas signed a letter sent to the two senators:

CALIFORNIA: Mammoth, June Mountain, Northstar-at-Tahoe, Sugar Bowl.

COLORADO: Arapahoe Basin, Aspen Highlands, Aspen Mountain, Buttermilk, Copper Mountain, Snowmass, Steamboat, Winter Park.

MAINE: Sugarloaf/USA, Sunday River.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: Attitash Bear Peak.

NEW YORK: Bristol Mountain, Greek Peak.

OREGON: Mt. Hood Meadows, Cooper Spur.

UTAH: The Canyons.

VERMONT: Haystack Ski Area, Killington and Pico Resorts, Mount Snow.

WASHINGTON: 49o North.

WYOMING: Jackson Hole.

Governor-elect Arnold eyes sheep in Ketchum

KETCHUM, Idaho — So how did Arnold Schwarzenegger celebrate becoming governor of California?

By flying to Idaho to watch woolies trotting through the streets of Ketchum, which was hosting the Trailing of the Sheep Festival. Th guv-elect, wife Maria Shriver, and assorted offspring were seen in a photograph in the Idaho Mountain Express. Schwarzenger owns a home near Ketchum.


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