Words by Alta athlete and TreeUtah Volunteer Coordinator, Hannah Whitney
Skiing and trees…two things that are very near and dear to my heart. My identity is most often tied to being a skier or an environmentalist. Or even a tree hugger. Fortunately for me, Utah is a great place to be both of these things.
Most of us are aware that Utah is well known for its skiing, largely due to the legendary feet upon feet of fluffy white powder that piles up in the mountains each winter. But how about trees? When is the last time you saw an advertisement touting ‘the greatest trees on earth’? If that ad does exist, its more than likely that the great state of Utah doesn’t make the cut. But not being ‘known’ for something certainly doesn’t mean it lacks significance or importance! Trees, its turns out, are of the utmost importance in Utah for many reasons. Oxygen anyone? [It doesn't suck. (haha! That's what I wanna say, but won't) No matter your beliefs or interests, you can't really make a valid anti-tree argument. -remove] Shade from the desert sun, water and air filtration, food, and increased property value are just a few benefits, and if you head over to the TreeUtah website you’ll find many more environmental, social and economic benefits of trees. TreeUtah is the only non-profit of its kind serving the entire state of Utah through its mission to increase the quality of life for present and future generations by enhancing the environment through tree planting, stewardship and education.
Alta Ski Area shares TreeUtah’s sentiment about the incredible importance of trees. Ski resorts and towns with somewhat precarious locations such as Alta, have unique perspectives regarding the vital roles of trees. A look into the history of Little Cottonwood Canyon reveals a dramatic relationship between humans and trees. Wood was needed by settlers for construction, fuel, and mining. But the mountains needed the trees to hold the soil and snow in place. It was a hard lesson to learn as the town of Alta was destroyed by monstrous avalanches numerous times, and even with trees now largely reestablished, avalanches remain an ominous seasonal player in this mountain soap opera. But since the establishment of Alta Ski Area in 1938, trees have new found importance out on the slopes. If you have ever gone out skiing down an open bowl in the midst of a snow storm, you know what I’m talking about. With the passing of time there are now other threats facing the trees of Little Cottonwood Canyon and around Utah. If you care about skiing, we suggest that you care about trees as well.
In recognition of the value of both skiing and trees, Alta Ski Area is hosting a fundraiser for TreeUtah on Friday, December 6th, 2013. TreeUtah invites you to join us on the slopes to consider how trees help us live, work and play! We will start the morning with a fun pre-public skiing session at 8am to be followed by breakfast on mountain at Watson’s Shelter. Before spending the rest of the day skiing at your leisure, we will feature a provocative panel discussion with forestry and tree experts, which will wrap up around 11am. What is the state of Utah’s forest? How do trees effect your business or personal life?
A single ticket is only $50 if purchased by Friday, November 29th (a $185 value!). That price will rise to $75 on Saturday, November 30th. You or your business can also consider being an event sponsor. 100% of proceeds will go directly to TreeUtah!
For more information on event sponsorship please contact Hannah Whitney at email@example.com or by calling (801) 364-2122.
Filed under: Alta Department Report, Something New At Alta | Tags: Alta, Alta Ski Area, Alta Ski Resort, planting trees, Tree Utah, Trees, Utah | No Comments »