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Saturday Evening Program at Rocky Mountain National Park to Feature Tatra National Park in Slovakia

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Date: October 5, 2007
Contact: Kathleen Kelly, 970-586-1206
Contact: Larry Frederick, 970-586-1220

Join visiting park rangers Martina Pilatova and Stanislov Hudec, from Tatra National Park in Slovakia, for an evening program at Rocky Mountain National Park on Saturday, October 13, at 7 p.m. at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center auditorium. The program will highlight the park’s newest sister parks, Tatra National Park on the border of Slovakia and Poland, which has many similarities to Rocky. A recent agreement between Rocky Mountain National Park and Tatra National Park in Slovakia and Tatra National Park in Poland, establishing a sister park relationship will be showcased.

Amid numerous photographers and many good wishes, park managers from Rocky Mountain National Park signed sister park documents on September 12 during a ceremony at Tatra National Park offices in Zakopane, Poland. U.S. Ambassador to Poland Victor Ashe and U. S. Ambassador to Slovakia Rodolphe “Skip” Vallee attended the ceremony.

A multidisciplinary team from the park, including Superintendent Vaughn Baker, East District Interpreter Kathy Brown, Trails Foreman Dave Larsen and Chief of Planning and Compliance Larry Gamble, visited the two Tatra parks in September to establish this new sister park relationship. The U.S. State Department supports this sister park relationship, which was begun through study tours sponsored by the U.S. embassies in Slovakia and Poland.

“We are pleased to be joining a worldwide network of parks that have joined together as sister parks to pursue cooperative projects of mutual benefit,” said Baker at the ceremony. Over the years, a number of National Park Service areas have established sister park relationships with national parks in other countries. These partnerships increase information sharing and direct park-to-park contacts, primarily through the use of improved telecommunications technologies.

The name ‘Tatra’ is from an ancient Slavic word meaning ‘rocky.’ This plus much more is commonly shared among these three parks. Rocky Mountain National Park and the two Tatra National Parks share enough to be biological "sisters." The two Tatras, which share a common border, have enjoyed a sister park relationship for some time. The three parks share the common ideals of stewardship and preservation. Their highest priority goals include restoring altered ecosystems, preserving and increasing natural biodiversity, protecting threatened and endangered species and supporting research needed to achieve success in these preservation and restoration efforts. These parks are also striving to involve their surrounding communities in the development of compatible services and facilities to foster tourism and economic development. It is hoped that this sister park relationship will enable all three parks to further these goals through international cooperation.

The program is free and open to the public. For more information about Rocky Mountain National Park please call (970) 586-1206.

Did You Know?

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The Nerd Herd (aka research volunteers) gave more than 4,500 hours to the park in 2009. These citizen scientists help monitor the health of our resources including bears, elk, plants, hummingbirds, glaciers, and butterflies. More...