Monarch Mountain’s Ski Conservation Fund has disbursed a little more than $30,000 to three different area conservation projects, the National Forest Foundation announced last week.
The fund gave $12,000 to the Monarch Pass Gravel Pit Restoration Project, $13,200 to the Boss Lake Trail Improvement Project and $7,600 to develop cross-country ski trails near Monarch Mountain.
The gravel pit project is being handled by Trout Unlimited, and the other two projects are being run by Southwest Conservation Corps.
Monarch Mountain partnered with the National Forest Foundation to create the Ski Conservation Fund program in 2016.
They’ve been collecting funds for about three years now, Marcus Selig, National Forest Foundation vice president for field programs, said. He said they like to wait to collect enough money, about $15,000-$20,000, before they go looking for where to spend it. The amounts disbursed represent everything the fund received from its creation up until this spring, Selig said.
Patrons of Monarch Mountain had the option of donating when they purchased passes to Monarch, $5 for a season pass and $1 for a day pass.
Each donation is matched 50 cents on the dollar by the National Forest Foundation, which gets those funds from the U.S. Forest Service.
The National Forest Foundation worked with Monarch and the Salida Ranger District to pick which projects would be chosen.
Selig said he wasn’t sure when the next disbursement might be because it depends on how many people donate. He said they were seeing an increase in participation, though.
The amount generated by Monarch is impressive for a resort that size, Selig said, which speaks to the community’s commitment to conservation.