Understanding that the mountain environment is a recreational area’s number one asset, Crystal Mountain is committed to a strong environmental ethic and stringent stewardship of the land.
Environmental Conservation at Crystal Mountain
Understanding that the mountain environment is a recreational area’s number one asset, Crystal Mountain is committed to a strong environmental ethic and stringent stewardship of the land. Since purchasing Crystal Mountain in 1997, Boyne USA has enhanced the hand-in-hand relationship with the Forest Service that has transpired over the last decade in taking steps to diminishing the impact on this recreational area. The 4,448 acres of National Forest Land included in the resort’s permit is under constant environmental management and observation. In partnership with the Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forest and Mount Rainier National Parks, Crystal Mountain is moving toward an ever-growing level of stewardship that will protect and enhance these valuable and sensitive public lands for generations to enjoy.
The programs described below give more information on specific environmental efforts being implemented by Crystal Mountain.
Water Quality, New Wastewater Treatment Plant
The all new state of the art wastewater treatment plant was completed summer of 2013. This facility replaces a 1965 treatment plant. The treated water is discharged to drainfields. Water quality is increased to meet standards set for today and into the future. At a cost of $2.5 million, Crystal is making a major investment in the best infrastructure.
Ski Green: Renewable Energy Certificates and Carbon Offsets
Crystal Mountain is participating in the Ski Green program through the Bonneville Environmental Foundation. Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) are for sale in Guest Services and through the ticket windows for $2. Proceeds go toward the Bonneville Environmental Foundation for clean renewable energy. Help offset the emissions associated with your drive to Crystal Mountain. Each BEF SkiGreen Carbon Offset represents 150 pounds of CO2 not emitted into the atmosphere by supporting 100 kWh of clean, renewable energy resources and reducing our dependence on dirty fossil fuels. More Information
Sustainable Slopes, the Environmental Charter for Ski Areas
Crystal Mountain is a proud supporter of this charter. The National Ski Area Association, together with its member ski areas and partnering organizations, has created an operations and outreach program. This Charter reaffirms the commitment ski areas have in improving environmental performance in all aspects of operations and managing their specific resorts, making possible their continued enjoyment by future generations. Recreational areas have been able to provide enjoyment to millions of guests each year on a very small portion of public land, especially in the Northwest. This very efficient and closely managed utilization of resources limited total impact on mountain ecosystems.
Food and Beverage Materials
Green recycled garbage can liners
Recyclable plastic cups
Recyclable plant starch based knives and forks
Recyclable, where applicable, plates and bowls (Cascade Grill) & to go boxes (Bullwheel and Summit House) are made from Sugar Cane products and/or renewable resources. All dishes at Bullwheel, Summit House and Campbell Basin are washable and reusable
Ecotainer cups for fountain drinks
Ecotainer cups for hot drinks (coffee, cocoa etc.)
Have eliminated plastic bottled product from on hill facilities to cut down on waste as well as fuel to transport product up and waste down
All cardboard, paper, plastic and aluminum is recycled through Murrays Disposal.
Cooking oil is saved and turned into Biodiesel
NEW– Starting winter 12/13, breakfast at the Cascade Grill will be served on non-disposable plates accompanied by non-disposable flatware. This will significantly cut down on disposable waste
Reusable water bottle filling stations can be found in the Day Lodge and at Campbell Basin lodge
Crystal Mountain fully implemented a liquid deicing program for the Crystal Mountain Boulevard. By applying deicing liquid (calcium chloride) and use of a salt brine sand usage on the boulevard and parking lots was reduced to less that 20 yards from a potential 7,000 yards. This environmentally sensitive program dramatically curtailed the effects on stream sedimentation. The reduction of snow and ice buildup on the boulevard had also drastically reduced the amount of vehicle accidents
Sensitive Wetland Restoration
When upgrading the old Green Valley chairlift to a high speed Doppelmayer Quad, the base area terminal was relocated out of a marshy area to a less sensitive, drier area.
Fish Habitat Protection
Crystal Mountain strives to preserve fish habitat through management of the Silver Creek water shed and maintenance of the sewage treatment facility. Staff members work on a year-round basis to ensure the proper amount and conditions of water quality that runs through the permit area is up to Washington State standards. In 1997, receiving the Silver Eagle Award for excellence in Fish and Wildlife Habitat Protection.
All departments at Crystal Mountain participate in the collection and processing of cardboard and other recyclable items which are transported to a Pierce County Recycling facility.
Vegetation Management Program
One of the program’s primary goals is to maintain the maximum forest cover that is compatible with safe skiing and snowboarding. Operating plans and training manuals emphasize the protection of trees from the possibility of mechanical damage by snow grooming equipment and other operating machinery.
When it is necessary for ground disruption such as re-contouring within the boundary permit area, Crystal Mountain crews immediately mulch and seed, with Forest Service approved sterile grass seed mixes to protect against short-term soil erosion. These efforts take place each year along with native seed collection and area management of roads and guidance of all erosion areas.
Over a period of a few years native grass seeds and plants will re-enter these sites. Transplanting of native plants is also done in specific areas of the mountain. A benefit of winter avalanche control, the majority of trees in the area which would normally be kept small or non-existent by normal snow slides are actually kept extremely healthy and assist the area in healthy vegetation well beyond average circumstances. The result of these efforts is an esthetically appealing and ecologically positive series of managed plant communities.
After 7 years of studies, the Forest Service approved Crystal Mountain’s environmentally driven Master Development Plan in November 2004. This vision calls for improvements within the permit area over a ten-year period. Over 3.2 million dollars was spent on the combination of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and the Master Development plan. The DEIS, which studied impacts on everything from lichens to native animals will greatly enhance knowledge of environmental and educational practices which effect the area. This Environmental Impact Statement will ensure that all area improvements will also embrace state-of-the art environmental features and continued excellent environmental management of the permit recreational area.
PistenBully 600 E+ Diesel-Electric Groomers
Crystal Mountain was the first ski area in North America to take delivery of not one but two 600E+ diesel/electric snow groomers. The PistenBully 600E+ is powdered by a diesel electric drive that boasts significantly lower ecological impacts than standard snow cats. The 600E+ uses a diesel engine to drive two electric generators, which in turn, power electric motors that turn the tracks and snow tiller that provides a high quality groom for skiers and snowboarders. Over all the technology reduces CO₂ green house gas and NOX emissions by 20%. When traveling down hill the engine idles and the electric energy created from the braking effect of the electric motors is used to power the snow tiller. The machine operates at lower RPMs and is therefore significantly quieter than standard groomers.