From the ponds and streams to the slopes

Adapted from an item in Robert Whitcomb's "Digital Diary'' in GoLocal24com.

Wachusett Mountain Ski Area, in Princeton, Mass., has, so far in this puny winter, used more than 95 million of gallons of water to make snow!  I can imagine how much the really big northern New England areas have used. The Wachusett president, Jeff Crowley, says that’s about the amount it usually uses in an entire season, reports the Worcester Business Journal. I wonder what effect putting so much water on a little mountain has on the area’s environment

Not only does snow-making equipment let ski areas get through poor real-snowfall seasons, but man-made snow is said to last longer than the natural stuff. I suppose that having all that slow-melting “snow’’ on the mountain late in the season might stretch out local streams’ spring run. But snow-making also causes erosion, which washes sediment into streams, which among other things hurts trout and other fishing.  And running the machines uses a lot of energy.