• Photo of the continental divide blanketed in snow. NPS Photo by VIP Schonlau

    Rocky Mountain

    National Park Colorado

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2008 Lyceum Series-February 16 through March 8

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Date: February 11, 2008
Contact: Kyle Patterson, 970-586-1363

2008 Lyceum Series Explores Learning Lessons:
Management Decisions of the Past and Future

Saturday, February 16, 7:00 p.m.
Two Centuries of Aspen in Rocky Mountain National Park
Join Dr. Dan Binkley with Colorado Forest Restoration Institute, Colorado State University as he discusses aspen forests in depth. The aspen forests of Rocky Mountain National Park develop over time spans of centuries, strongly influenced by fires, herbivores, and conifer competition. The current forests of aspens are influenced by the legacies of these factors, just as these factors are currently setting the stage for future aspen forests. This presentation will summarize detective work on the historic and current condition of aspen forests.

Saturday, February 23, 7:00 p.m.
Paleoenvironmental Change in Rocky Mountain National Park
Dr. James Doerner with the Department of Geography, University of Northern Colorado, will examine the environmental changes that have occurred in Rocky Mountain National Park. His program will feature the results of a new study from Bear Lake that examined charcoal and pollen recovered from sediment cores extracted from the lake. This investigation reconstructs the climate and fire history for the Bear Lake region of the park during the past 7000 years. This research will aid scientists and park managers by greatly improving the understanding of the park’s climate history and its sensitivity to environmental change.

Saturday, March 1, 7:00 p.m.
Climate Friendly Parks: Successes and Challenges

Karen Hevel-Mingo with the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) will discuss the Climate Friendly Parks Program. This program began in 2003, as collaboration between the National Park Service and the EPA. Today nine parks, including Rocky Mountain National Park, participate in the program. NPCA realizes the enormous value and potential of theClimate Friendly Parks program in educating and empowering individuals, communities and public officials regarding the impact of climate change on our national parks. This presentation will present case studies for three parks currently participating in the program; successes they have achieved and challenges they have encountered. The steps taken by Rocky Mountain National Park will be discussed as well as the future potential for the program.

Saturday, March 8, 7:00 p.m.
Reckoning with the Legacy of Abandoned Mines in the West
Timothy Brown with the Center for the American West will discuss the issue of abandoned mines. Hardrock mining drove much of the white settlement of Colorado, and mining products remain critical to our standard of living. Yet, gold and silver mines of the nineteenth century have left us with another less attractive legacy. Many of them emit pollutants into our watersheds with devastating results for aquatic life. Ironically, the effort to clean up these mines has been inhibited by keystone environmental laws. Policy makers, environmentalists, and the mining industry are now struggling to find solutions to this problem.

The Lyceum schedule runs through May 17, 2008. Financial support for the lyceum series is provided by the park’s nonprofit partner, the Rocky Mountain Nature Association. Programs are free and open to the public.

For more information about Rocky Mountain National Park please call (970) 586-1206.

Did You Know?

a photo of Elizabeth Burnell, the nation's first female nature guide

Rocky Mountain National Park licensed the nation’s first female nature guides in 1917. Sisters Ester and Elizabeth Burnell learned the naturalist trade from advocate and author Enos Mills.