Vail Resorts contributes $1.5M to National Forest Foundation in Eagle and Summit counties
The money will help fund projects geared toward improving visitor experiences on the White River National Forest
Over the past year, Vail Resorts has contributed $1.5 million to the National Forest Foundation, the congressionally chartered nonprofit partner of the U.S. Forest Service.
Vail Resorts, the National Forest Foundation and the White River National Forest are working with advisory groups in Colorado’s Eagle and Summit counties to set community-based forest stewardship priorities and invest in local projects and programs that will enhance the White River National Forest.
Vail Resorts, including its resorts in Breckenridge, Keystone, Vail and Beaver Creek, has been a contributing partner of the National Forest Foundation’s White River National Forest Ski Conservation Fund since 2006. Over the past year, Vail Resorts’ contributions will allow more expansive projects and programs to be considered for support and implementation by the fund.
The Ski Conservation Fund provides an opportunity for guests of participating ski areas and lodges to give back to the public lands that make their experiences possible via a donation program. The National Forest Foundation matches these contributions a net 50 cents to the dollar and oversees the investment of those funds in projects and programs on the White River National Forest that enhance recreational opportunities and improve forest health.
“Through our re-imagined partnership with the National Forest Foundation, we’re able to put generous guest donations to work here in Eagle and Summit counties — preserving and enhancing the incredible landscapes that make this area so special,” said Beth Howard, vice president and chief operating officer of Vail Mountain, in a news release. “The initial projects the local advisory groups have chosen for 2021 to 2022 will create sustainable recreation opportunities for both locals and visitors to enjoy the White River National Forest for a long time to come.”
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“We are thrilled to expand the impact of our partnership with Vail Resorts,” said Mary Mitsos, National Forest Foundation president and CEO. “Vail Resorts’ participation in this program allows their users and guests to give back to the local community, resulting in tangible on-the-ground improvements to national forests that provide numerous benefits to the ecology and economy of the region.”
To showcase the enhanced opportunities made possible by the re-envisioned fund, Vail Resorts selected a suite of White River National Forest priority projects for immediate funding that are currently underway. The new approach to the fund includes expanded capabilities for implementation, including engaging nonprofit partners as well as area contractors to get work done on-the-ground in an efficient manner while continuing to provide capacity support to local organizations.
Strategic projects on the White River National Forest supported by Vail Resorts from 2021-22 include:
- Meadow Mountain Trail reroutes: A multiuse trail improvement and sustainability project near Minturn.
- Arctic-Placer Trail construction: A new, sustainable, multiuse trail connecting the town of Silverthorne with the Eagles Nest wilderness.
- Dillon Reservoir Bear Box installation: Campground infrastructure improvements to address wildlife concerns and decrease negative human-wildlife interactions.
- Mill Creek Trail construction: A new trail coming to Vail in 2022 intended to add capacity to the area’s heavily used trail system.
Additional projects recommended for funding via the community stewardship priorities set by the Ski Conservation Fund advisory committees in Eagle and Summit counties will be announced in late 2021.
To learn more about the re-envisioned White River National Forest Ski Conservation Fund visit: nationalforests.org/whiteriverscf.