Linking Ski Areas Together for Greater Sustainability
Have you ever skied under LED lights, composted leftover chili at a resort restaurant, or enjoyed mountain biking on ski slopes in summer? Thank Geraldine Link of the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA). As Director of Public Policy of the Lakewood, Colorado-based organization, she represents roughly 330 ski areas in the U.S., which account for more than 90 percent of the skier/snowboarder visits nationwide. She launched a sustainability program for ski areas called Sustainable Slopes, and she developed the Climate Challenge, a voluntary program recognizing resorts that reduce their carbon footprint.
Link graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government from Georgetown; then spent a year in Oakland, California, helping undocumented immigrants become lawful permanent residents and prepare them for citizenship. Her proudest career moment was contributing to passage of the Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act of 2011, which allows ski areas on U.S. Forest Service Land to operate on a four-season basis. Hello Frisbee golf, mountain biking, ropes courses and canopy tours.
“Skiing is a magical winter experience,” says the mother of two teenagers. “I want today’s children to have that experience over their lifetime. Through climate change action and advocacy we have the best chance of maintaining this experience for generations to come.”