The Environmental Impact of Skiing and Tourism Essay

The Environmental Impact of Skiing and Tourism Essay

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It is extremely easy to forget the impact imposed by skiing on the mountain environments. Most people believe the only effect that they have on the environment within mountain regions are the tracks in the snow left by their skis. However, there is strong evidence that skiing has both a social and more noticeably, environmental impacts that influence the natural environment. Some experts of the Alpine region suggest that tourists directly affect over half of the Alps entire surface area. It can therefore be stated that the Alps are now one of the most threatened mountain ecosystems on Earth. This viewpoint was further backed up by Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, chairman of Alp Action, based in Geneva, which works towards preserving and restoring the Alpine habitat, saying that “tourists have merely transported the problems of the city up 6,500 feet”.

As the majority of ski slopes take place on the sides of large, rugged mountains, the process of deforestation is required in order to create the downhill ski slopes. Deforestation can lead to the displacement of the natural habitats of resident birds as well as cause an increase in the surface runoff from the melt water flowing down the mountains once the snow has melted in the summer months. The problem of surface runoff is further increased by the alteration of the grade of the slope in order to make it suitable for skiers. This allows the melt water to flow quicker and results in the melt water coming into contact with few obstacles which can eventually lead to landslides. Other wildlife such as ibex, snow hares, and red deer are also affected by deforestation and the alteration of the slope’s grade. Wildlife is initially affected by the development and expansion of the ski res...


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...m/environment/environmental-impact-of-skiing.htm

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/is-it-possible-to-ski-without-ruining-the-environment-465772.html

http://www.responsibletravel.com/copy/copy102162.htm

http://www.surfrider.org/snowrider/Barilotti2.htm

http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/2006/may/20/ecotourism.guardiansaturdaytravelsection?page=all

http://alpsknowhow.cipra.org/background_topics/urban_rural_areas/urban_rural_areas_%20introduction.html

http://alpsknowhow.cipra.org/background_topics/alps_and_tourism/alps_and_tourism_chapter_introduction.html

http://www.panda.org/what_we_do/where_we_work/alps/news/?64940/Tourism-in-the-Alps-hard-choices-ahead

http://www.panda.org/what_we_do/where_we_work/alps/news/?164742/Sustainable-holidays-in-the-Alps

http://www.tkk.fi/Yksikot/YKS/fin/opetus/kurssit/ysss/arkisto/arkisto_0203/zehetner.pdf

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