Squaw's Environmental Efforts
[Olympic Valley, Calif.] Squaw Valley’s significant environmental efforts have recognized by third-party environmental groups including the Ski Area Citizen’s Coalition recognized Squaw Valley as the nation’s top ranked resort for environmental practices for three years in a row in December 2009, 2010 and 2011. In spring 2010, Squaw Valley was also voted The Best Ski Resort in the TreeHugger Awards. The resort is proud of its environmental achievements and plans to remain a leader in this field. Among other achievements, Squaw Valley has been recognized in the fields of revegetation, recycling & waste reduction, sustainable energy, and water conservation.
Wirth concludes, “Squaw Valley’s environmental policies and practices, across the entire enterprise, are not only award winning and in many circumstances industry leading, but are part of our company’s core values.”
Squaw Valley is committed to a multi-million dollar environmental improvement program which has instituted extensive revegetation and erosion control projects to ensure the health and quality of the immediate surroundings. The Environmental Improvement Department’s tasks year after year include water sampling, erosion control monitoring and parking lot monitoring, snow conditioning, chemical report, snowmaking chemicals report, and noxious weed eradication. Annual revegetation projects include seeding terminal areas and reseeding roads and erosion control projects that include road eradication and drainage improvements.
Recycling & Waste Reduction
Squaw Valley is significantly reducing its environmental impact through their five tier recycling program. Over 250 tons of waste is diverted annually from the landfill through reuse, recycling and reduction of waste. Squaw Valley is constantly implementing the best known policies and continues to discover more ways to reduce its environmental impact and preserve “the most beautiful valley the eye of man has ever beheld.
Squaw Valley has implemented revolutionary technology in each of the resort’s facilities to reduce annual energy consumption. This includes installing a Silicon Control Rectifier (SCR) motor to run the Cable Car and a lighting retrofit (fiber optic lighting) in the Cable Car building, a hydronic heat system driven by lift motors in the Funitel building, an incinerator that heats the Gold Coast complex, a heat exchange system that freezes the ice in the Olympic Ice Pavilion while simultaneously heating the Swimming Lagoon & Spa and surrounding walkways at High Camp, as well as a geothermal heat pump that heats the 12,000 sq. ft. Squaw Kids children’s facility.
Squaw Valley acknowledges that water is an important resource for ski areas as well as the surrounding natural environments and communities, and should therefore be used as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Squaw Valley snowmaking utilizes a natural snowmaking process that uses 100% recaptured water (snowmelt) rather than extracting from the domestic water supply. This results in significant non-consumptive water conservation each season.
Squaw Valley is actively replacing the resort’s snowmaking guns with new, highly-efficient guns. The new snowmaking guns produce the same amount of snow using half the amount of energy, meaning that Squaw Valley’s snowmaking is drastically more efficient each ski season as the resort systematically replaces the guns.
In addition, the resort has been retrofitted with low flow, motion sensor faucets which dramatically reduce the mountain’s water consumption on a daily basis.
# # # #