MMSA is committed to resource conservation and pollution prevention to eliminate or minimize adverse environmental impacts.
Sierra Star Reclaimed Water
MMSA partnered with the Mammoth Community Water District (MCWD) to install the first recycled "gray" water system in the Eastern Sierra. The system, going on-line at MMSA's Sierra Star Golf Course in summer 2010, utilizes up to 320 acre feet per year of reclaimed water, making Sierra Star's fairways the "greenest" greens in the High Sierra. Sierra Star's course will be watered with one hundred percent reclaimed water, saving enough potable water to serve almost one thousand households, or roughly one third of the Town of Mammoth Lakes' permanent residents. The system works by processing gray water at the MCWD facilities, then piping it to Sierra Star through a closed infrastructure system. The project is a model for public-private partnerships, and helped MMSA win the 2010 NSAA Silver Eagle Award for Excellence in Water Conservation.
MMSA leads the way in the Eastern Sierra with three completed LEED certified buildings. LEED ("Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design") was established by the U.S. Green Building Council in 1993 as a national environmental rating system to encourage the mainstream building industry to utilize sustainable practices. LEED-recognized building practices include reducing carbon footprint by utilizing building materials processed and manufactured within 500 miles, using local masonry rock, installing energy efficient windows and systems, and purchasing carpeting, decking, and drywall fabricated from recycled materials.
MMSA celebrated the opening of the first LEED certified building in Mammoth Lakes with the opening of a LEED Platinum certified cabin at Tamarack Lodge and Resort. MMSA's Tamarack Lodge and Resort, established in 1924, sits at the entrance to the Mammoth Lakes Basin, one of the most heavily visited National Forest portals in the United States. "Constructing the Tamarack cabin to LEED Platinum standards is one of many important steps that Mammoth Mountain is taking to fulfill our commitment to the environment," said Rusty Gregory, CEO, Mammoth Mountain. MMSA followed its success at Tamarack Lodge with the completion of the first phase of Altis, a slope side luxury town home project consisting of four LEED Gold Certified homes. When completed, Altis will feature twenty four LEED Gold certified residences.
MMSA first started transporting guests from the Town in the 1950s, long before anyone was thinking green. During those early days, guests were transported on Weasels, recycled military vehicles that could navigate snow-covered roads. In its modern incarnation, MMSA's transportation system encompasses five major routes through the Town of Mammoth Lakes, and efficiently ferries guests to and from the lifts, lodging, dining and shopping areas, without charge. Getting people out of their many cars and on to more efficient public transportation helps reduce traffic congestion, relieves warm-weather drivers from having to deal with wintry road conditions, and dramatically reduces carbon footprint.
Village Ski Back Trail
The Village Ski Back trail demonstrates MMSA's commitment to environmental stewardship in ways much deeper than simply getting people to ski (rather than drive) back to their lodging - the construction project itself was developed and modified to be far more environmentally sensitive than previous planners had anticipated. Originally proposed in the late 1970s, design of the trail began in 1994 and was updated multiple times to meet the changing priorities of the Town of Mammoth Lakes, the U.S. Forest Service and MMSA. The final alignment and construction utilized slope retention techniques to minimize disturbance of the natural terrain, reduced dirt export by 20,000 cubic yards, and avoided the removal of approximately 130 trees. During Summer 2010, MMSA will be completing the second phase of the trail, which includes the re-aligned grading and the installation of the Village Ski Back Bridge.