Rocky Mountain National Park Lyceum Series Continues

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Date: February 2, 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, February 6, 7:00 p.m.– Wild By Law
By the middle of the twentieth century civilization had erased much of America`s natural landscape. As the wilderness shrank, the movement to protect it grew. In the end, America did something no other country had ever done; it passed a law to protect its remaining wild land forever.

“Wild by Law” is the story of the Wilderness Act of 1964 and the three men responsible for its passage: forester/philosopher Aldo Leopold, author of the best-selling “A Sand County Almanac,” and the first to bring the word "ecology" into standard usage; Bob Marshall, millionaire socialist and founder of the Wilderness Society; and Howard Zahniser, a tireless bureaucrat with a profound love of the wild places he seldom saw. Singly and together, these three fought against the current of American thought from the 1920s through the 1950s to attain what had once seemed an unimaginable victory; recognized and protected Wilderness in the United States.

More than just the story of an historic struggle to preserve the natural world, “Wild by Law” provides an invaluable overview of the roots of the environmental movement, offering a deeper understanding of one of the most important issues facing contemporary civilization. Join us as we delve into the history of the Wilderness Act we are celebrating in this year's lyceum.

Saturday, February 13, 7:00 p.m. - Wandering in the Wilderness: How History Shapes Our Appreciation of Rocky Mountain National Park
History shapes our thinking about nature and national parks. In looking back and learning from the past, what forces created Rocky Mountain National Park in 1915? And, nearly a century later, why did people support the added legislative protection of the park, designating its interior as Wilderness? Join Curt Buchholtz, the Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Nature Association, as he uses an historical lens to view the park and the role of Wilderness. Buchholtz is a man of many skills, including fund raising, long-range planning, developing cooperative relationships with federal agencies, project management, and problem solving. Previously he worked for the National Park Service as a seasonal ranger in Glacier National Park from 1963 until 1985 and he was a college history teacher for fifteen years. As a freelance writer he has authored two books, “Man in Glacier” (1976) and “Rocky Mountain National Park: A History” (1983). He has co-authored four others, “Yosemite National Park. A Photographic and Comprehensive Guide” (1989) “Mesa Verde, Canyon de Chelly and Hovenweep” (1987) and “Rocky Mountain National Park” (1986) for National Parkways, and “Littleton, Colorado: Settlement to Centennial” (1990). He currently serves as president of the National Park Friends Alliance and serves on the Board of Directors of the Association of Partners for Public Lands.

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 from January 30 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.

Last updated: February 24, 2015

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Mailing Address:

1000 US Hwy 36
Estes Park, CO 80517


(970) 586-1206
Through winter, the Information Office is open 8:00 am–4:30 pm Mon–Fri. Recorded Trail Ridge Road status: (970) 586-1222.

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