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Keynote Speaker Kicks Off This Year’s RMNP Lyceum Series

2011 Lyceum Series- “Trying To See The Forest For The Trees: Forest Health In The Rocky Mountains”

Increasingly, we hear news reports of forests that are dying throughout North America from many different causes. Kicking off this year’s Lyceum Series on Saturday, February 12, at 7:00 p.m. is Wayne D. Shepperd. He will be examining Sudden Aspen Decline (SAD), a phenomenon that has killed hundreds of thousands of acres of aspen in Colorado, other western states, and Canada. The factors that define SAD will be discussed, along with the long-term ecologic consequences of its spread. A brief description of a research study testing whether aspen forests affected by SAD might be regenerated will be presented along with a discussion of our response to these ongoing changes to our forests.

Wayne retired as a Research Scientist from the Rocky Mountain Research Station in 2007, and published over 120 scientific papers during his 37 year career with the U.S. Forest Service. He is an internationally recognized authority on the ecology and management of Rocky Mountain Forests and currently teaches part-time in the Department of Forest, Rangeland, and Watershed Stewardship at CSU. Wayne is a second generationColorado native who received his BS, MS, and Ph.D. degrees from Colorado State University.

The theme of the 2011 Lyceum Series is “Trying To See The Forest For The Trees: Forest Health In The Rocky Mountains.” The forests in and around Rocky Mountain National Park provide wonderful benefits such as water, recreation, wildlife habitat, timber, and other forest products. They are, however, vulnerable to a wide variety of stressors. RMNP will invite regional experts to answer visitor questions on insects, diseases, exotics, invasives, wildfire, prescribed burns, ozone/pollutants, wildlife/biodiversity, watersheds, soils, and forests as indicators of climate change.

The Lyceum schedule runs through May 14. 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.

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