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Rocky Mountain National Park Lyceum Series Continues - March 27, April 3, and April 10

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Date: March 22, 2010
Contact: Kyle Patterson, 970-586-1363

2010 Lyceum Series
“Wilderness: Of What Avail Are Forty Freedoms Without A Blank Spot On The Map?”

Saturday, March 27, 7:00 p.m. - Leave No Trace – Enjoying the Wilderness Responsibly
The Leave No Trace program teaches recreationists how to avoid or minimize impacts to natural areas and helps ensure positive recreational experiences for all. Managed by the Center for Outdoor Ethics based in Boulder, Leave No Trace is an international education non-profit dedicated to the responsible enjoyment and active stewardship of the outdoors. Ben Lawhon, Education Director for the Center, will introduce us to the principles: Plan Ahead and Prepare, Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces, Dispose of Waste Properly, Leave What You Find, Minimize Campfire Impacts, Respect Wildlife and Be Considerate of Other Visitors. He will demonstrate what a difference can be made by following the principles.

Ben, a Natural Resources Management graduate of the University of Tennessee, joined the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics staff in 2001, where he serves as the Education Director. His current responsibilities include curriculum development, management of national education and training programs, working on international initiatives and coordinating general outreach efforts. He currently serves as the Secretary on the Society for Wilderness Stewardship Board of Directors as well as on the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s Stewardship Council. Ben is an avid outdoor enthusiast, enjoying whitewater paddling, telemark skiing, fly fishing and backpacking.

Saturday, April 3, 7:00 p.m., Wilder Is Better: Nature, Mental Health, and Ecotherapy
When humans and the environment connect, wonderful things can happen!  Abundant research supports a wealth of personal experience; wild nature is good for the psyche and the spirit. Join Dr. John Davis from Naropa University as we review recent findings on "ecotherapy,” explore some possible explanations, and discuss applications of nature for mental health. Can scientific knowledge find a comfortable partnership with indigenous wisdom?

Dr. Davis teaches graduate courses in psychology, ecopsychology, and wilderness therapy. He guides wilderness rites of passage and trains guides through the School of Lost Borders. John is also a long-time student and teacher of the Diamond Approach of A. H. Almaas. His interests in the psychological benefits of wild nature range from stress reduction to nature-based spiritual experiences. The author of a number of articles and book chapters on ecopsychology and related topics, John finds his own ecotherapy in his garden, on walks in nearby open space, while backpacking, and when sitting on his front porch watching the world go by.

Saturday, April 10, 7:00 p.m., John Fielder’s Rocky Mountain National Park: A Wilderness Odyssey
Celebrate the park's new wilderness status through the images taken by nationally renowned nature photographer, publisher, teacher, and preservationist John Fielder in 1993 and 1994. John enjoyed unique access to the park's high country on a special use permit. Hear John's stories about his 50 nights and 50 days spent in the park's most remote places. He’ll share both his gorgeous photography and funny, sad, dramatic, and dangerous anecdotes from the backcountry.

Fielder has worked tirelessly to promote the protection of Colorado's open space and wildlands. His photography has influenced people and legislation, earning him recognition including the Sierra Club's Ansel Adams Award, the University of Denver’s Daniel L. Ritchie Award, and the Distinguished Service Award from the University of Colorado. He was an original governor-appointed member of the lottery-related Board of Great Outdoors Colorado, and speaks to thousands of people each year to rally support for timely land-use and environmental issues.

In March, 2009, President Obama signed legislation providing additional protection to Rocky Mountain National Park by designating most of the park’s backcountry as wilderness, which encompasses roughly 95 percent of the park. Park staff joined the gateway communities of Grand Lake and Estes Park in welcoming the passage by the Congress of the wilderness designation for the park’s backcountry. This was the culmination of an effort that began in 1974 by President Richard Nixon and was jump started in recent years through the efforts of many. 

The theme of the 2010 Lyceum Series is “Wilderness: Of What Avail Are Forty Freedoms Without A Blank Spot On The Map?” the famous quote from Aldo Leopold. This year’s serieswill focus on how wilderness influences what we do as stewards of this incredible nationalpark. Speakers will highlight what wilderness means spiritually, physically, as part of naturally functioning systems, as part of our psyche as a nation, and how it guides our decisions on management decisions at Rocky Mountain National Park. The Lyceum schedule runs through May. 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. They are held at 7:00 p.m. at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center auditorium in Rocky Mountain National Park.

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

Did You Know?

Mama Cabin in the Holzwarth Historic District

The Holzwarth Historic District is a former guest ranch on the Colorado River. Open to visitors during the summer, the property features a dozen small cabins including the Mama cabin, named after Sophia Holzwarth, who ran the rustic resort.