Conservation & Protection
Old Growth Forest Management
- Wachusett Mountain has the largest known stand of Old Growth Forest in Massachusetts. Created an Old Growth Management Policy in conjunction with DCR in 1998 to help educate, protect and study the areas of old growth forest located on the mountain.
- This includes monitoring all snowmaking to prevent excessive ice on trees within the old growth; annual inspection with DCR of hazard trees that may need removal; with DCR constant monitoring and patrolling of old growth areas to prevent unauthorized access.
Land Conservation and Protection
- Wachusett placed more than 100 acres of private adjacent forest land owned by the mountain into a forest protection program monitored by DCR. Wachusett has pledged to help fund a full-time ecologist for DCR for an ongoing program of ecological monitoring, research and management of the biological resources of the state reservation.
- Studies have shown Massachusetts has a shortage of open meadow land (other state parks have cleared trees to create more open space.) Ski trails create a perfect open meadow areas to foster biological diversity.
- Wachusett has developed a program for rotation of mowing to foster a variety of meadow species including some rare naturally occurring plants. Wachusett also adjusted the design layout of a trail in its new Vickery Bowl to afford more protection for the mountain laurel.
- Wachusett place more than 100 acres of private adjacent forest land owned by the mountain into a forest protection program monitored by DCR
- As part of its ongoing commitment to creating a balance between environmental protection and recreation, Wachusett Mountain Associates proudly supports Massachusetts Forest Stewardship Program (a program of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation with funds from teh USDA Forest Service). Wachusett privately owns three parcels of land - totaling approximately 56 acres - adjacent to the ski area, that are registered in the state's Forest Management Plan.
- Approximately 8 acres of parcel, located on the town line of Princeton and Westminster, have been forested. The requires forest management practices to be completed within 10 years of registereing the land in the program. This parcel of land includes a stand of predominantly Norther Red Oak, Black Oak, White Ash, Red Maple and Easter White Pine. Other species include Black Birch, White Birch, Sugar Maple and Easter Hemlock. Approximately 45% of the trees are acceptable growing stock. this species mix is the result of past harvesting practices which removed most of the merchantable oaks and pines leaving less desirable species of poor quality.
- Two Main Objectives of the Forest Management Program are to grow forest products and enhance the recreational and aesthetick values of the property. Through good forest management practices, it is our goal to protect the soil water values of the property and develop trails for cross country skiing, hiking and viewing of wildlife. ther are several intermittent streams with flow across the property and these streams will be protected during harvesting activity as Wachusett Lake, a public water supply, is located immedieately downstream. The Mid-State Trail crosses throgu this stnad and offers an excellent opportunity to view wildlife and cascading brooks during the winter and early spring. Patch celar cuts in this stand would open great views of Wachusett Lake. These patch cuts will also create valuable browse for wildlife.
- Recreational Use and Habitat Protection-- there are numerous stone walls on the upper slopes of this stand and an excellent view of Wachusett Lake from many areas in the stand. There is an old camp located high on the slope at a site which could be developed into a cross country ski lodge. the Mid-State Trail passes through this stand from east to wet and several logging roads provide hiking and skiin opportunities. There is a small patch of spruce saplings located at the wall corner in the middle of this stand which is surrounded by several cull pines. This property offers excellent opportunity for developing recreational uses. It is the landowner's goal to open up a network of trails, create vistas and manage wildlife habitat for the enjoyment of skiers and hikers. This parcel, in conjuction with two adjacent parcels under the same ownership offer unique opportunity to develop cross country ski and hiking trails throughout the property.
- "We welcome and applaud your commitment to the steardship of your woodlands," said Steve Anderson, forest stewardship coordinator. "In large measure the continued good health of the state's forests is up the the 235,000 woodland owners like you who choose to act. In joining the Stewardship Program, you join landowners across the state who are balancing both the ecological and socal values of our rich and diverse forests. Much is changing in the arena of land use, property rights and environmental health. We're aiming toward solutions that keep ecosystems whole, yet still allow peopel to benefit from forest resources. On behalf of the State Steardship committee, I thank you for your commitment."
Energy Conservation and Use of Alternative Fuels
- Wachusett is one of only three ski resorts in the Northeast to be converting 100% of its waste cooking oil into environmentally-friendly Biodiesel to fuel its five grooming vehicles. Converting 2,500 gallons of waste cooking oil from the restaurant and cafeteria (plus the mountain-owned Wachusett Village Inn) into biofuel. In addition to helping run the mountain’s five snow cats, the biodiesel product will also be utilized by the 4 diesel-powered backup lift engines and the area’s 4 on-premise snow removal vehicles.
- Princeton Municipal Light Department and Community Energy, Inc. partnered in 2007 to build and operate two 1.5-megawatt wind turbines on Wachusett Mountain in an area on the back side below the summit. Scheduled for completion in 2007, these new wind mills will assist Wachusett Mountain Ski Area in reducing overall energy costs.
- Installed a state-of-the-art snowmaking compressor system which utilizes re-circulated heat from air compressors to supply the base lodge with 100% of its heat, significantly reducing electrical consumption.
- Wachusett constructed a new snowmaking compressor building in 1997 utilizing this technology with even more energy efficient compressors.
- The mountain also uses specially-designed HKD tower snow guns for snowmaking which are eight times more efficient than conventional water guns and significantly reduce noise levels.
- Automated energy management system to control conditions in base lodge
- Bio-Fuel (Read More)
- Wind Power (Read More)
Water Conservation and Protection - Read More