portland independent media center  
images audio video
promoted newswire article announcements oregon & cascadia

forest defense | sustainability

Mount Ashland (OR) threatened with ski area expansion--ACT NOW to help protect

Mount Ashland, the highest peak in southern Oregon's Siskiyou Mountains is threatened by a proposed ski area expansion that would log 450 truck fulls of pristine old-growth forest, intrude into a roadless area, threaten rare plant & animal habitat, and threaten the purity of Ashland's only water supply. Please visit this website and send an email in opposition to the expansion: www.mountashland.com
Rogue IMC Coverage with Video
Mount Ashland, OR: proposed ski expansion would clearcut  old-growth shown here
Mount Ashland, OR: proposed ski expansion would clearcut old-growth shown here
Recognized as one of the most biodiverse regions on Earth, the Siskiyou Mountains in Southern Oregon & Northern California are home to a wide array of rare plants, the greatest variety of coniferous trees anywhere, and is a critical zone of ecological mixing. Now one of the last untouched pieces in this spectacular ecological puzzle is threatened by a proposed expansion of the Mount Ashland Ski Area. The final phases of decision-making are upon us and we need to act now to give a voice for the wildlands. Please visit the Wild Mount Ashland website to learn more about this unique place and the immediate threat it faces then send a "one-click letter" from the website voicing your opposition to the proposed expansion and the intense impact it would have on the area and the human values we associate with wilderness. The Klamath-Siskiyou Bioregion is one of the most amazing places in Oregon yet it remains constantly at risk from logging, mining, and now--by a ski area. The region is relatively unpopulated compared to the rest of Oregon and California so we need all the voices we can get speaking for its protection. Please visit Wild Mount Ashland's website at http://www.mountashland.com and help protect this gem of a wilderness.

homepage: homepage: http://www.mountashland.com

Feature on Rogue IMC 06.Oct.2003 08:24

media watcher & eco skiier


The Rogue Independent Media Center also made a FEATURE of this story. Take a look. Its got photos, commentary, and video...


Skiing? 06.Oct.2003 15:29


No problem.

Global warming will make skiing a non-starter.

Actually, they just want to get the trees, not build ski areas.

Sample Comment 07.Oct.2003 08:47


it was really easy to click on the website, read their prepared talking points and create my own comment letter-- here's what I wrote:

Dear US Forest Service, Ashland City Council, & Mayor DeBoer,

I am an avid skiier and appreciate the healthful benefits of skiing, both spiritually and physically. However I also believe that it is far more important to preserve the ecosystem elements we depend on for our tourism revenues and for the quality of life in terms of clean air and water and soil quality for us and for future generations of people, flora and fauna.

I feel strongly that one of the main sources of income for Oregon that comes from outside the state is not tourist dollars in the winter, but rather recreational value in the summer. In this failing economy, this is one of the few reliable revenue sources this state has left. People who live in this region who ski regularly already are satisfied with the skiing opportunities available at Mt. Bachelor, Hood, and Tahoe, where the snowfall is more dependable and predictable throughout the ski season. Mt. Ashland will never provide this kind of reliability weather-wise anytime in the foreseeable future.

As is acknowledged in the DEIS for this proposed project, expanding into the as yet untouched Middle Branch drainage created risk of degrading water quality. This is an unacceptable risk that mitigation with sediment traps and other proposals have in the past failed to prevent. Therefore these identical plans can also be expected to fail to prevent irreversible degradation of watershed soil and water quality in the Middle Branch Watershed. For this reason alone Alternatives 2,3 and 6 are unacceptable.

A compromise allowing for modest growth of the existing ski area without expansion into the sensitive and untouched Middle Branch watershed, as is described in Alternative 5, would open up diverse new terrain, widen existing runs, help relieve congestion, and keep costs down, with far fewer environmental impacts. The Ashland City Council would be acting in a manner consistent with existing tourism and ecosystem interests in mind if it instead chose alternative 5 without the expensive Moraine Lodge, expanded parking and LC-13 lift.

The City of Ashland should call for an open Mt. Ashland Association Board elections by an inclusive membership, insist on permanent protections for the Middle Branch Watershed in the interest of future generations, and start long term monitoring of this important pristine watershed that is vital to the ecosystem integrity of this entire area.

Thank you for considering my comments as a frequent user of forests and ski areas.