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Contact: Kyle Patterson, 970-586-1363
2010 Lyceum Series “Wilderness: Of What Avail Are Forty Freedoms Without A Blank Spot On The Map?”
Saturday, April 24, 7:00 p.m. - The Real Value of Wilderness
Have you ever asked yourself why you care so much about wilderness? Forest Service Wilderness Program Manager Ralph Swain will explore the values of wilderness and why the American people have historically cared so much for wild places. He will also treat the lyceum audience to a special sneak preview of a promotional clip from an upcoming 2011 film on the life of Aldo Leopold called “Greenfire”. In addition, Ralph will bring participants up-to-date on what the Rocky Mountain Region is doing to keep the wild in wilderness in the 46 wilderness areas it administers in the five-state region of Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, Kansas and Nebraska. He will conclude with some interesting challenges that face the Forest Service in protecting the wilderness character of these amazing landscapes.
Mr Swain holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Marketing and a Masters in Natural Resource Management, specializing in Wilderness Management. He has worked for twenty-seven years with the United States Forest Service, working up through the ranks as wilderness ranger, District trail and wilderness supervisor, Forest Wilderness manager and now the regional wilderness program lead. He has worked in California, Montana and Colorado in some of the most beautiful wildernesses in the nation. He has also been involved in Protected Area Management in Kamchatka, Russia and South Africa.
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 series will focus on how wilderness influences what we do as stewards of this incredible national park. 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.