Alta Ski Area Plants Thousands of Trees

Alta Ski Area Plants Thousands of Trees in 2013

Alta, UT – November 25, 2013: Alta Ski Area’s summer project list included the planting of 4,000 native tree seedlings. Typically the ski area annually plants about a thousand trees, but this summer was different. Alta was able to multiply its efforts with help from the Forest Service, Tree Utah, over 300 volunteers from five additional partners and a number of its own summer staff. The plantings consisted of 3,100 Limber Pines (Pinus flexilis) and 900 Engelmann Spruce (Picea engelmannii). Alta Ski Area also added 400 seedlings to its on-site nursery. These tree management efforts are a part of Alta’s comprehensive Vegetation Management Plan.

“We are stewards, not just a ski operation,” said Onno Wieringa, Alta’s general manager. “We take great pride in maintaining Alta’s ecosystem for our operations today and for its continuance into the future.” Alta’s voluntary Vegetation Management Plan supports an adaptive conservation approach in multiple management areas, including Bark Beetle, Forest Stand Health, Weed Control, Ecological Restoration, Land Disturbance Monitoring, Native Seed Collection and Environmental Education. The plan allows for a systematic seasonal routine:

  • In the summer and fall – Hand picking native tree or forb seed. Planting the trees grown from hand-picked seed. Pulling weeds and mapping locations. Thinning forest stands to improve forest health and glade skiing. Monitoring the recovery of revegetated sites. Restoring sites with native plants.
  • In the winter – Growing seedlings with an indoor grower.  Completing ski tree surveys for signs of bark beetle infestation.
  • In the spring – Removing infested bark-beetle trees to prevent spread to other trees. Placing insecticide on Limber Pines to ward off infestation.  Thinning hazard trees.

“Alta Ski Area takes overseeing National Forest, a protected watershed, and the culture of skiing very seriously and has since its inception in 1938” said Maura Olivos, Sustainability Coordinator and Ecologist for Alta’s Alta Environmental Center. “Our mission is sustainability – to protect and improve the well-being of Alta’s environment, ski industry and community.”  

For more information on Alta Ski Area’s conservation management efforts or its sustainability department, the Alta Environmental Center, visit www.alta.com or contact Maura Olivos, molivos@alta.com, 801.832.1700.