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Jackson Hole Recognized as Environmental Stalwart

goldeneagleThe National Ski Area Association (NSAA) awarded the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (JHMR) with its prestigious “Golden Eagle Award” for Environmental Excellence.

The award was given to JHMR at the National Ski Area Association’s Annual Conference held in Carlsbad, Calif., earlier in May.

Jackson Hole took the award in the “medium sized” resort category. Resorts in Jackson Hole’s category receive 200,000-500,000 visits each year.

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort President Jerry Blann stated, “We are honored to receive this recognition for our environmental work. We have invested strategically and labored intently to be the best possible stewards of our natural resources, and the Golden Eagle Award is welcome recognition of that work.”

Specifically, JHMR was recognized for its 10x15 plan, with an aim on reducing greenhouse gas emissions 10% by the year 2015.jacksonhole

According to a press release from JHMR, the following highlight the resort’s major environmental accomplishments in 2011:

  • Food and Beverage implemented the Vendor Assessment Scoring; an internally developed score chart that helps identify food providers whose processing and delivery represents the lowest environmental impacts.
  • Vehicle maintenance modified a Ford Excursion to run on waste vegetable oil--sourced from the dining facilities. Plans are underway to convert further vehicles.
  • Vehicle Maintenance recycled all motor oil, as well as batteries, antifreeze, and all snowmelt from grooming equipment.
  • Mountain facilities succeeded in reducing propane use by 20% over last year, through the implementation of ‘automation controls’ and modifications to the heating systems across the resort.
  • JHMR invested in the protection of the threatened Whitebark Pine trees with the purchase and application of 575 Verbenone Packets and the application of Carbaryl Spray to counteract pine beetle infestation.
  • JHMR commissioned the Brendle Group to conduct a Greenhouse Gas Inventory and establish a subsequent Management Plan to assess and minimize energy usage and greenhouse gas output.
  • JHMR joined 7 other ski areas in the ‘National Ski Area Association’s 2011 Climate Challenge’—a leadership initiative aimed at measuring and reducing ski areas’ carbon inventory.

When asked about Jackson Hole’s efforts, NSAA President NSAA Michael Berry said, “Jackson Hole has been making tangible investments in the environmental sustainability of their operation. Their program represents the kind of real-world progress, year over year, which the National Ski Area Association is proud to hold up as an example of how to run an environmentally responsible ski area in the modern era.” 

The 2011 Golden Eagle Award marks the second time that Jackson Hole has received the award from the NSAA, with the first coming in 1995.

-Ryan O'leary

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