Ski Area Sediment Source Control Handbook

Project Elements

  • Test Plot Design, Implementation and Oversight
  • Performance Monitoring and Data Analysis
  • Development of User-Friendly Toolkit Document
  • Information Exchange

Key Outcomes

  • Applied field testing of a range of treatments
  • 6 resorts, 24 test sites, 104 test plots
  • Formation of CAREC
  • Publication of the Sediment Source Control Handbook

Integrated Environmental Restoration Services (IERS) has led the development of a collaborative new approach to improving the effectiveness of erosion control efforts at Sierra ski resorts. Key elements of this ongoing program include construction of test areas, direct field measurement of effectiveness, and development of a cooperative and adaptive management approach to planning, implementing, and assessing erosion control projects. This program is funded by a grant from the State Water Resources Control Board, and implemented in partnership with the Sierra Business Council.

In 2003, the California Alpine Resorts Environmental Cooperative (CAREC) was formed to provide an ongoing forum for information exchange and open dialogue between land managers, field practitioners, and regulators. Six Sierra ski resorts have been participating in the program including Northstar-at-Tahoe, Mammoth Mountain, Heavenly Mountain Resort, Tahoe Donner Cross Country, Squaw Valley, and the Resort at Squaw Creek. Each of these resorts has dedicated staff time, equipment, and materials to construct test areas and participate in bi-annual technical working sessions.

This groundbreaking project has led to improved practices and accountability in ski resorts and is already being embraced as a model for other land types. The Sediment Source Control Handbook, which has been developed as part of this grant, is available at: 2008 FINAL.pdf

Constructing test plots at Heavenly
Constructing test plots at Heavenly
Irrigating test plots at the Northstar superpipe
Irrigating test plots at the Northstar superpipe