How Climate Change will impact the Snowsports Industry

From POW’s coverage in the New York Times, you know that the snowsports community can and should play an important role in addressing climate change; there’s a lot riding on it (pun intended).

To really understand how MUCH is riding on it, we teamed up with our buddies at ESRI to show just how much climate change will impact the snowsports industry. We broke down our 2018 economic report into this nifty story map. It’s interactive, it’s easy to understand and it’s even easier to share. Give it a scroll. You just might learn something new!

Our 2018 economic report shows how warming temperatures have impacted the snowsports industry since 2001, what the economic value of the industry is today (2015-2016) and what changes we can expect in the future under high and low emissions scenarios.

Taking another look at the changing winter sports tourism sector in America, we find:

  • In the winter season of 2015–2016, more than 20 million people participated in downhill skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling, with a total of 52.8 million skiing and snowboarding days, and 11.6 million snowmobiling days.
  • These snowboarders, skiers and snowmobilers added an estimated $20.3 billion in economic value to the U.S. economy, through spending at ski resorts, hotels, restaurants, bars, grocery stores, and gas stations.
  • We identify a strong positive relationship between skier visits and snow cover and/or snow water equivalent. During high snow years, our analysis shows increased participation levels in snow sports result in more jobs and added economic value. In low snow years, participation drops, resulting in lost jobs and reduced revenue. The effects of low snow years impact the economy more dramatically than those of high snow years.
  • While skier visits averaged 55.4 million nationally between 2001 and 2016, skier visits during the five highest snow years were 3.8 million higher than the 2001-2016 average and skier visits were 5.5 million lower than average during the five lowest snow years.
  • Low snow years have negative impacts on the economy. We found that the increased skier participation levels in high snow years meant an extra $692.9 million in value added and 11,800 extra jobs compared to the 2001–2016 average. In low snow years, reduced participation decreased value added by over $1 billion and cost 17,400 jobs compared to an average season.
  • Climate change could impact consumer surplus associated with winter recreation, reducing ski visits and per day value perceived by skiers.
  • Ski Resorts are improving their sustainability practices and their own emissions while also finding innovative ways to address low-snowfall and adapt their business models.

The winter sports economy is important for the vitality of U.S. mountain communities. This report shows the urgency for the U.S. to deploy solutions to reduce emissions and presents a roadmap for the winter sports industry to take a leading role in advocating for solutions.

 

February 7, 2019 – Anja Semanco

How Climate Change Will Impact The Snowsports Industry

Senate Passes a Sweeping Land Conservation Bill

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Tuesday passed a sweeping public lands conservation bill, designating more than one million acres of wilderness for environmental protection and permanently reauthorizing a federal program to pay for conservation measures.

The Senate voted 92 to 8 in favor of the bill, offering a rare moment of bipartisanship in a divided chamber and a rare victory for environmentalists at a time when the Trump administration is working aggressively to strip away protections on public lands and open them to mining and drilling.

“It touches every state, features the input of a wide coalition of our colleagues, and has earned the support of a broad, diverse coalition of many advocates for public lands, economic development, and conservation,” said Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, the majority leader.

Western lawmakers of both parties have been working for four years on the bill, which will next be taken up by the House of Representatives, where it also enjoys bipartisan support.

Among the most consequential provisions is the permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a federal program established in 1964 that uses fees and royalties paid by oil and gas companies drilling in federal waters to pay for onshore conservation programs.

Although the program has long enjoyed bipartisan support, Congress typically renews it for only a few years at a time, and it expired on Sept. 30 and has not been renewed. The new public lands package would authorize the program permanently, ending its long cycle of nearing or passing expiration and awaiting Congressional renewal.

 

“Today’s vote is a big step toward ending the cycle of uncertainty that has plagued America’s best conservation program,” said Kameran Onley, director of United States Government Relations at the Nature Conservancy. “At no cost to the taxpayer, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has helped expand national parks, preserve pristine landscapes, and create trails and athletic fields across the country.”

The bill designates 1.3 million acres in Utah, New Mexico, Oregon and California as “wilderness,” the most stringent level of federal land protection. It prohibits any development and the use of most motorized vehicles. And the bill creates less-stringent but permanent protections of land in Montana and Washington state.

With the passage, the core group of lawmakers responsible for the negotiations was jubilant. Staff members fist-bumped in the hallway as the lawmakers — all from Western states except for Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia and the new ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee — celebrated the bill’s passage.

“It took public lands to bring divided government together,” said Senator Steve Daines, a Montana Republican.

Emily Cochrane contributed reporting.

For more news on climate and the environment, follow @NYTClimate on Twitter.

Coral Davenport covers energy and environmental policy, with a focus on climate change, from the Washington bureau. She joined The Times in 2013 and previously worked at Congressional Quarterly, Politico and National Journal. @CoralMDavenport Facebook

per https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/12/climate/senate-conservation-bill.html

Drilling in National Parks?

Oil and gas development already is harming dozens of national park sites around the country. It could get much worse.

Just how many national park sites are affected by domestic oil and gas development? 12 have active oil and gas operations on privately owned lands inside their borders, and 30 more parks could follow. At least 68 coastal national parks could be harmed by an offshore drilling plan President Donald Trump’s administration submitted in the beginning of the year. Since the start of 2017, the Trump administration has proposed oil and gas leasing close to more than 18 national parks in the West. At least 14 proposed major pipelines are in the works across the country, and some of them could end up going through national park sites.

Oil and gas development in and around park lands can harm fragile ecosystems, fragment wildlife habitat, pollute air and water, interfere with viewsheds, degrade visitors’ experiences, and ultimately hurt the economies of local communities that rely on park tourism. Pipeline construction requires developers to permanently clear land, and pipes running through parks could explode or rupture, devastating the landscape and jeopardizing human health and safety.

map

 

Author: Mike Wirth

Source: https://www.npca.org/articles/1916-drilling-in-national-parks