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Contact: Kyle Patterson, 970-586-1363
Saturday, May 10, 7:00 p.m.
Historic Range of Variability of Wildfire and Insect Outbreaks in Front Range Forests
Some forest policy concern in the West focuses on the potential interactions between wildfire and forest insect outbreaks related to climate warming and land-use practices. One widespread viewpoint is that fire exclusion in the West during the past 100 years has dramatically reduced the occurrence of formerly frequent low-severity fires. This in turn has promoted an unnatural increase in forest density, exceptional susceptibility to outbreaks of insect pests, and greater risk of high-severity fires. Similarly, the belief that widespread tree mortality caused by bark beetles and other insects dramatically increases potential fire danger is an untested assumption, yet is driving public concern and some responses to current bark beetle outbreaks in Colorado. Dr. Thomas T. Veblen, forest ecology professor from the University of Colorado, will help us examine the applicability of these premises to the forests of northern Colorado and Rocky Mountain National Park.
Saturday, May 17, 7:00 p.m.
Forest Health and Fire
Cumulative changes in forest health influence the activities of soil development, wildlife habitat, and fire. Recent increases in forest cover since settlement and climate change increase these agents of change. Dr. Karl Brown, manager of the National Park Service’s Vegetation and Mapping Program, will share fire season footage from a 2006 aerial attack, and open the floor for discussion of these issues.
The park’s 2008 Lyceum theme is “Learning Lessons: Management Decisions of the Past and Future.” As Rocky Mountain National Park's centennial approaches, it is a good time to explore decisions made in the past, face the issues of today, and look forward to the future.
How do real people make real decisions about real problems in the entire Rocky Mountain Region, as well as in Rocky Mountain National Park?
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 held at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center and are free and open to the public.
For more information about Rocky Mountain National Park please call (970) 586-1206.