Climate Change Threatens Winter Sports; Significant Economic, Recreational Implications Seen for AK, CA, CO, ME, MN, MT, NH, NY, NC, OR, PA, UT, VT, VA, and WA.
WASHINGTON, April 9, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Tuesday, 75 leading U.S. Olympic medalists and other winter snow sports athletes will send a message to the Obama White House: Take action now on climate change to protect the $12.2 billion U.S. winter sports industry and the tens of millions of Americans who rely upon it for recreation.
With major sections of the United States having suffered weak winter sports seasons over the last decade due to high temperatures and/or minimal snow, the call to action by America's leading winter athletes will have special resonance in such states as Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.
In December, Protect Our Winters and the Natural Resources Defense Council issued a report highlighting the economic impact of inconsistent winters on the U.S. snow sports community and tourism-dependent states and the implications of climate change on the future of snow sports. (See http://protectourwinters.org/climate_report/report.pdf.)News event speakers will be:
- Gretchen Bleiler, professional snowboarder, two-time Olympian, four-time X Games gold medalist;
- Jeremy Jones, professional snowboarder, 10-time Big Mountain Rider of the Year, and founder of Protect our Winters;
- Ingrid Backstrom, professional skier and five-time winner as Best Female Performer, Powder Magazine;
- Kit Deslauriers, two-time World Freeskiing Champion, and the first person to ski from the summit of the highest mountain on all seven continents;
- Chris Steinkamp, executive director, Protect our Winters; and
- Antonia Herzog, assistant director, Climate and Clean Air Program, Natural Resources Defense Council.