Mountain Communities and Enthusiasts Nationwide call for Bold Climate Action

For Immediate Release: November 20, 2014

Contact: Phil Huffeldt, office 303-801-0578, 

Phil@snowridersinternational.org

As ski season opens, mountain communities and enthusiasts nationwide call for bold climate action.

 Professional skier, Julian Carr, addressing supporters.

Professional skier, Julian Carr, addressing supporters.

 Philip Huffeldt, Coordinator of Snowriders International, presenting the letters to Carl Daly, EPA Region 8 Air Program Director.

Philip Huffeldt, Coordinator of Snowriders International, presenting the letters to Carl Daly, EPA Region 8 Air Program Director.

Denver, CO – Today – As the ski season opens, over 115 snow and mountain supporters across the country including ski areas, local businesses, professional winter sports athletes, local governments, and organizations have signed letters in support of bold action by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to curb power plant emissions.  Those letters, in support of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, were delivered to the EPA at a media event featuring some of the letter signers. Supporters made the announcement crowded on the sidewalk in front of the Regional EPA building in Denver framed by fully geared up skiers and snowboarders waiving signs of support over a pile of melting snow.  

The letters are part of Snowriders International’s campaign, Powder, Not Power Plants, calling for carbon pollution cuts on power plants.  Some notable signees of the letters include Arapahoe Basin Ski Area and all of Powdr Resorts’ ski areas such as Killington and Mt. Bachelor, Icelantic Skis and Confluence Kayak and Ski, Olympic gold medalist Ted Ligety and professional skier Julian Carr, the town of Telluride and Mayor Barbara Cottam of Angel Fire in New Mexico, and Snowriders International and the Climate Reality Project, to name a few.

“The International Panel on Climate Change released its latest report recently, and the science is clear.  Carbon pollution is the biggest threat to winter sports and mountain communities, and the EPA’s Clean Power Plan is one of the most important steps the United States can take to tackle global warming.” said Philip Huffeldt, Coordinator of Snowriders International.

“It's an honor to work with Snowriders International, Climate Reality, and Protect Our Winters to protect snow sports on this planet from climate change,” explained Julian Carr, professional skier and I AM PRO SNOW and Protect Our Winters Ambassador.  “Aside from winter sports being enjoyable, it also employs 600,000 people.  Tip of the cap to everyone here today wanting to watch out for Mother Earth, our sport, and our jobs.”

“I have to wonder how long we can keep making artificial snow to begin skiing at unpredictable times every fall,” said Sha Miklas, Environmental Manager of Arapahoe Basin Ski Area.  “We are already seeing the effects of climate change with many ski areas delaying their opening days due to unseasonably warm weather this year.”

Carbon pollution fuels climate change leading to erratic winters, decreasing snowpack, worse air quality, and higher the risk of more frequent, more destructive, more costly, and more deadly extreme weather events. America’s power plants are the single largest source of global warming pollution in the country.

That’s why Snowriders International and their allies launched a campaign “Powder, Not Power Plants!” to call for a cut to greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and protect a hurting mountain economy.  Unpredictable winters and decreasing winter snowpack have already cost the US winter sports world more than $1.07 billion since 1999 according to a report by the National Resource Defense Council and Protect Our Winters.

“As a local ski shop owner, I see fewer customers, less revenue, and less fun when people ski less,” said Jonathan Kahn, owner of Confluence Kayak and Ski.  “But it’s not just about my business, I would like to see my kids and their kids skiing the same way I have done, so let’s act on climate now.”

“Angel Fire Resort is in my back yard,” said Barbara Cottam, Mayor of Angel Fire, New Mexico.  “Shorter winters and drought conditions result in less snow pack which impacts not only our economy, but also river stream flows, the health of aquatic life, and agriculture.”

Implementing the Clean Power Plan will ensure that new federal safeguards will set commonsense limits on carbon pollution, inspire investment in infrastructure to protect communities from the climate change impacts they are already experiencing, and spur the kind of innovation that will power America with clean energy in the 21st century.

The message of this broad coalition is clear: We need to act now to limit carbon pollution from power plants to protect our snow and the mountain way of life — before it’s too late.

To learn more and take action, visit Snowriders International’s website www.snowridersinternational.org

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Snowriders International is an organization of skiers, boarders, and mountain recreation enthusiasts.  We are dedicated to the promotion of winter sports and protection of the environment across the globe through service, education, research, and advocacy. 

www.snowridersinternational.org