Mountain Rider’s Alliance Project Manager Explaining New Ski Area in the Works

March 9, 2011

I’ve mentioned Mountain Rider’s Alliance before: they are the embodiment of collaboration in the ski community. Based on core beliefs that support ski towns, the riders and the environment, MRA is a voice for all of those that love playing in the mountains with boards strapped to their feet.

Looking at restoring an old ski area in Alaska, MRA is working with locals on the Kenai Peninsula to create a positive winter sports resource. Check out the following video of MRA project manager, Dave Scanlan, discussing the proposed ski area.

Mountain Rider’s Alliance Presenting Project in Alaska

February 25, 2011

Mountain Rider’s Alliance to present Manitoba Mountain Ski Area Restoration Project

Mountain Rider’s Alliance Project Manager, Dave Scanlan, outlined a proposal for the Manitoba Mountain Ski Area Restoration Project at the Girdwood Library last night, Thursday, February 24th, 2011.  With over 50 locals in attendance, there was a question and answer session afterward, with a lot of proactive community feedback.

Manitoba Mountain is located at Mile 49 on the Seward Highway at the site of the Historic Manitoba Ski Area and the Glacier Ski Lodge that operated from 1941 to 1959. The earliest recorded history of skiing on the Kenai Peninsula was in 1790. Anchorage is located 90 minutes away and there is a population base of 325,000 within a three-hour drive. At a base elevation of 1,250 feet, this region of the Chugach Mountains receives an estimated 350-550 inches of snow annually.

Manitoba Ski Area is a MRA pilot project designed to be small on infrastructure and big on mountain. The proposed lifts are surface tows designed to give riders supreme access to and from world class high angle backcountry terrain, while at the same time providing excellent beginner, intermediate, and advanced inbounds skiing experience.

Additional plans include creating and maintaining Nordic, snow shoe, snow machine, and dogsled trail systems through the historic mining sites of the Summit Lake Recreation Corridor, helping to support the year round operation of Summit Lake Lodge.

“One of the Manitoba Mountain Ski Area Restoration Project’s primary goals is to bring economic stability to the communities of Hope, Sunrise, Moose Pass, and Cooper Landing by creating a centrally located destination to create local jobs and foster additional private sector economic activity by redeveloping the downhill, and Nordic ski opportunities in the Summit Lake Recreation Corridor,” states Project Manager Dave Scanlan.

Both wind and hydro energy creation opportunities exist in the area. The State of Alaska has set an ambitious goal to supply 50% of the state’s energy from renewables by 2025. This goal has been laid out in the new House Bill 306, passed in June 2010.

MRA is an emerging group of like-minded global ski and outdoor enthusiasts dedicated to sustainable, low impact ski centers with an emphasis on the community, environment and skiing. More information about the MRA is available at their website. MRA will be offering reasonably priced investment shares to both the local and global ski communities to help fund the revival of Manitoba Mountain.

“We have entered the preliminary stages of the permitting process and while we expect this to be a lengthy multi-year process, we are fully committed. We will be hosting many public outreach meetings to solicit the public’s comments and ideas to assist us in sculpting the best possible facility with community involvement,” said Scanlan.

Mountain Rider’s Alliance has forged partnerships with many respected organizations that share the same values. Some of these partners include Protect Our Winters, Winter Wildlands Alliance, Sustentator, High Fives and Ski Duck.

The Sierra Club and Protect Our Winters Partner to Protect Natural Habitat in Chuitna, Alaska

March 10, 2010

Protect Our Winters has partnered with The Sierra Club to prevent the construction of a massive coal mine in Chuitna, AK, just forty miles from Anchorage.

PacRim Coal, which is co-owned by developer/entrepreneur Dick Bass, has applied for the permit to construct the mine, which would be the second largest open-pit coal mine in North America. Ironically, Dick Bass also owns Snowbird Ski Resort which has a stellar environmental record, winning the 2007 NSAA Golden Eagle Award for Overall Environmental Excellence by a ski resort.

PacRim Coal plans to unearth 300 million metric tons of coal and ship the coal to China. Coal burned in China, or anywhere else for that matter, affects the global climate and air quality. Burning the Chuitna coal could release 54 million tons of carbon dioxide into the environment annually – the equivalent of 45 million cars.

“The first step in reducing climate change is to stop digging the hole. Stopping this project is the one of the single most important climate change issues we’re dealing with now”, said Jeremy Jones.

Please help put pressure on Mr. Bass to re-think this investment and continue with the positive environmental legacy he started with Snowbird. Visit the No Bass Coal website HERE and sign the petition.

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