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Murray Journal

Ski & Snowboard News / What's under Alta's snow?

Nov 22, 2014 06:04PM ● By Harriet Wallis

Photo: Harriet Wallis

Alta opened on Friday and is covered by a blanket of white. But what's under the snow is crucial.

This past summer, Alta did a major construction project on 4.7 acres. It widened the popular Corkscrew run to make it more skiable for intermediates. It also removed overburden from old mines and reclaimed a riparian area that had been buried and was useless for more than 100 years.

"With much planning, engineering, and good old fashion hard dirty work, the project was completed on time and on budget," Alta said. More than 40 volunteers helped restore the riparian area that had been covered with mine overburden.

But the work didn't stop there. Alta staff and volunteers hand collected native seeds then grew and planted 3,000 native flowering plants. Using indigenous seeds is important because those plants are used to the harsh conditions.

They also salvaged and transplanted more than 2,500 individual plants -- removing small ones by hand and large plugs by machinery.

They relaind 85 percent of the area with native topsoil and about 25 percent of the area with about 20 pounds of hand-picked seeds.

Alta will continue its revegetation work on those areas for the next three years.