Longs Peak: Nature, Mountaineers, And The National Park Service
The Estes Park Museum, 200 Fourth Street, will host a special program on Saturday, October 3, at 2:00 p.m. titled “Longs Peak: Nature, Mountaineers, and the National Park Service.” Colorado State University professor Dr. Ruth Alexander will explore links between changing recreational patterns, emerging environmental values, and park management. The presentation will last approximately 45 minutes, leaving time for a brief discussion. Doors open at 1:30 p.m. This program, cosponsored by the Estes Park Public Library and the Estes Park Museum, is free and open to the public.
Dr. Alexander will tell the story of the growing popularity of Longs Peak among hikers and technical climbers, especially after 1960, and how Rocky Mountain National Park responded to the increased numbers of backcountry enthusiasts who wanted to summit this stunning, alluring, and physically challenging fourteener. Longs’ popularity was growing just as the modern environmental movement and a new wilderness ethic were emerging. Rangers and park officials at Rocky Mountain National Park sought to figure out how best to manage mountaineers on Longs Peak so as to ensure that they had a positive “visitor experience.” The park also sought to protect the peak’s natural and cultural resources and wilderness values. The high numbers of backcountry visitors to Longs Peak raised the complicated question: is a hike or climb on Longs Peak in the modern era a “wilderness experience?”
This program is cosponsored by the Estes Park Library and is one of several special programs sponsored by the Library as part of the ‘Year of the Archive.’ The Library’s 2009 focus on the Local History Archive will digitize local historic newspapers, digitize and transcribe the oral history collection, improve collection storage, provide web access related to the archive collection, and significantly improve the computer catalog of items of historical value maintained in the library’s historic collection. Funding for all of the Library’s ‘Year of the Archive’ efforts has been generously provided by the Friends of the Library.
The Estes Park Museum, located at 200 Fourth Street, is open now through October 31, Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. From November through April, the Museum is open Friday and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The mission of the Estes Park Museum is to collect, interpret and preserve local history, as well as to present exhibits, programs and events for the education and benefit of residents and visitors of all ages. For more information call the Estes Park Museum at 586-6256 or visit the Museum’s website at www.estes.org/museum. Admission is always free.