Ski resort report card

Without a healthy environment, there’s no snow. Without snow, there’s no skiing. A newly released report card rating Western ski resorts shows that not every winter playground makes that connection.

The annual Ski Area Environmental Scorecard rated resorts on things like preserving lands from development, conserving water and energy by avoiding new snowmaking, use of renewable energy and their environmental policy positions.

The group’s goal is to get skiers to choose environmentally responsible resorts over the less conscientious places.

The report includes 19 resorts in California. Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe was the only Nevada-based resort, and it earned a B.

Only two local resorts earned an A: Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows Ski Area. Alpine Meadows was also the top-rated resort in California and the seventh best of all Western resorts.

Kirkwood Mountain Resort, while popular with skiers, earned an F, making it the lowest-rated area in California. It placed fifth in the group’s overall “Worst 10” list of Western resorts. This was due largely to development plans that would disturb environmentally sensitive areas, including wetlands, and its use of diesel.

The full report is available at