The article reacts to the intensive development of ski resorts in mountain National Parks and Protected Landscape Areas in the Czech Republic.
It summarizes results of many European studies dealing with various aspects of down-hill skiing and its impact on nature. Nearly all the studies have confirmed negative affects. Building new chairlifts and skipistes is usually connected with deforestation, and leads to forest habitat fragmentation with all the negative aspects for wild plant and animal communities and many endangered species. Pronounced impact on landscape character/scenery cannot be neglected as well. Deforestation and surface groundworks on pistes contribute to extensive changes in soil conditions and water regime (incl. erosion and floods). Influence of artificial snow is similar, and it increases eutrophication in addition. Noise and light pollution are other important factors that affect particularly animals, however their real impact has been very well not known yet. Species diversity decreases in soil, plant and animal assemblages/communities and their species composition changes, both on skipistes and mountain meadows with skiing activities. Climate change is expected to have deep impact on ski resorts in near future, and negative socio-economic changes are projected in regions highly dependent on ski industry.