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The Alta Environmental Center logo on the mountains of Alta Ski Area


By Brandon Ott 10-27-2020


The year-round efforts of the Alta Environmental Center (AEC) come to life in the latest video production with Sweetgrass Productions. The AEC’s dedication to sustainability and Alta’s land conservation efforts are central to our 83-year-old ski area ethos—whose mission is to provide authentic skiing experiences in a natural mountain environment.

We value the unique role that Alta Ski Area plays in the ski industry, a vision that is squarely focused on skiing and the environment. We care deeply for this land that provides us deep powder turns and solace from the fast-paced daily world. We know that future powder turns and conservation goes hand in hand.

This is the story of the Alta Environmental Center captured over the last few years, across every season, highlighting our land conservation and sustainability efforts.

Through a tremendous amount of hard work and partnerships with the USFS and many local entities, much of the Alta Environmental Center's focus has been on land conservation. The many tree runs that we love to ski today used to be barren hillsides and mountains from almost complete deforestation due to mining booms starting in the late 1800s. A lot of the trees you see at Alta today have been planted since the 1930s, with ongoing reforestation efforts by ski area staff since 1991. In fact, over 40,000 tree seedlings and almost 70,000 plant seedlings have been planted on the slopes of Alta over the past 30 years.

"Our land conservation efforts are a full circle process— it starts with gathering seed in the fall, we send off that seed to partners, they grow out plant seedlings over the winter and deliver them to us around June. We’ve planted over 40,000 (tree) seedlings since 1991."

- Beth Yetter, Alta Environmental Center Director

One of the most rewarding pieces of our land conservation efforts is the many relationships built within the community and with our partners. Every summer the Alta Environmental Center and its partners host several stewardship events that allow the public to come and take part in taking care of the natural resources at Alta. This provides an opportunity for the community to help with on-the-ground work and get their hands dirty, an experience that helps to build a stewardship mindset, as well as ownership and loyalty to this area, one person at a time. We appreciate everyone who has contributed to these efforts over the years.

"Taking care of our natural resources, yet utilizing them in a manner that doesn’t deplete them, that’s conservation."

- Maura Olivos, Alta Environmental Center Director 2009-2019

Alta has been around for over 80 years and we want to be skiing and hiking for another 80 years. Conserving this land and being mindful of our impact on the environment is the only way that we can ensure that it is still here for future generations to enjoy.

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