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Ski Area Erosion

TitleSki Area Erosion
Author/CreatorCobourn, John; Purdy, Shelly; Segale, Heather M.
Related item(s)Press Release available at
Date Original2003-12-16
Summary/DescriptionSegment 46 "Reducing Ski Area Erosion" (Air date: December 16, 2003). A look at how area ski resorts are doing their part to preserver Lake Tahoe's clarity by trying to prevent erosion on their slopes.
SubjectSoil erosion -- Tahoe, Lake, Region (Calif. and Nev.)
Ski resorts -- Environmental aspects -- Tahoe, Lake, Region (Calif. and Nev.)
LocationLake Tahoe (Calif. and Nev.)
Tahoe, Lake (Calif. and Nev.)
CollectionThe Lake Tahoe Report
Original PublisherLake Tahoe Environmental Education Coalition (
Electronic PublisherUniversity of Nevada, Reno - Department of Teaching and Learning Technologies
Ordering and Permissions InformationFor more information, contact the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, or 775-832-4138.
Date Digital2005-03-14
RelationRequires Windows Media Player
Resource TypeMoving Image
Contributing InstitutionUniversity of Nevada, Reno
TranscriptionSegment 46 Reducing Ski Area Erosion Air date: 12/16/03 Anchor Intro: One of the biggest contributors of Lake Tahoe's declining water clarity is dirt and sediment flowing into the lake. And, all that dirt and sediment gets into the lake from erosion. In tonight's Lake Tahoe Report, Shelly Purdy takes a look at how area ski resorts are trying to control erosion on the slopes. ((Take pkg)) ((Track 1)) An experiment is underway at Squaw Valley. The purpose: to figure out what is the best way to control erosion. ((S/U @ 13:03, Shelly Purdy)) "A field of grass like this may look like good erosion control, but the ground underneath is so compacted that when water comes down it runs off of it very quickly." ((sot @ 7:45ish Michael Hogan, Erosion Control Specialist)) "Part of erosion control is the ability of water to infiltrate into the soil. And what we're finding on some of these soils up here is the water doesn't infiltrate very well so it'll run between the grasses and still erode." ((track 2)) So they're experimenting with a variety of methods to try to make the ground more porous. These different plots have been treated in different ways. Some have had mulch tilled into the soil, other areas have had mulch and wood chips added and tilled. ((sot @ 9:05) "What we're essentially trying to do is find out what really controls erosion rather than what grows grasses on these slopes." ((track 3)) And they're having some success. They set up a rain machine on these test plots and let the water flow. ((sot @ 8:27)) "We were able to infiltrate the rainfall rate of up to 5 inches and hour in some of those areas whereas in the areas where there is a lot of grass but didn't have the organic material in the soil we could only infiltrate that amount of rain for maybe only a few minutes than it would start to runoff." ((Track 4)) It will take more time and research to figure out which method works best to control erosion. The results of this experiment will be shared with other ski resorts. With the lake tahoe environmental education coalition, I'm shelly purdy for kolo news channel 8. Ancohr Tag: For more information on erosion and its effects on the clarity of Lake Tahoe, visit our website at

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