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Presentation At The Museum To Launch New Book, “Transformation In Rocky Mountain National Park”

Museum-Rocky-BookThe Estes Park Museum Friends & Foundation, Inc. Press is proud to announce the publication of Dr. Thomas Gootz’ “Transformation in Rocky Mountain National Park: Effects of Climate Change and Human Intervention.” In this new work, Gootz, a microbiologist and Estes Park resident, provides readers a fascinating look at the geology, history, and ecology of the Park, and the science behind changes that have been taking place there over time.

The book will be launched at a special program and book signing by the author at the Estes Park Museum on Thursday, August 28th at 7:00 p.m. The public is invited to this free program. The book is available for purchase in the Museum gift shop.

Although “Transformation in Rocky Mountain National Park” is based on a careful review of the latest published studies by governmental and university science researchers and scholars, the book is aimed at lay readers seeking to learn more about the plants and animals with whom they share the Estes Valley. Of particular interest are Dr. Gootz’ lucid explanations of how the climate of the West, including Rocky Mountain National Park, has changed and the impact of these changes on snowpack, drought, and violent storms, such as those that caused extensive flooding here in September 2013. Gootz also draws attention to the interrelationships among people, plants, and animals so eloquently described by John Muir: “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find that it is bound fast by a thousand invisible cords that cannot be broken, to everything in the universe.”

A major theme of the book is that decision-making for the future growth and health of the flora and fauna in the Park is everyone’s responsibility—not only the National Park Service but also the visitors who come in such extraordinary numbers each year to explore the Park’s beauty, and those living locally, for whom the Park both frames and enriches daily life.

In addition to sections that explain climate change, including the effects of greenhouse gases and their impact on the Park’s array of delicate tundra habitats and ecosystem, topics explored in “Transformation in Rocky Mountain National Park” include: the geographic and geologic evolution of mountains and valleys in the Park; the impact of the Ice Age and subsequent episodes of glaciation; the human history of Rocky Mountain National Park from the earliest pre-historic times; and past and current threats to the Park’s forest structures, including the mountain pine beetle. The issues occurring in the Park and the steps being taken by the Park Service to address them are described in this important book, which also draws attention to the many and diverse challenges facing wildlife and habitat in the Park, in Colorado and across the West.

In addition to “Transformation,” other books published by the Friends Press this summer include: “A Slice of History and a Piece of Pie—Recipes and Remembrance: A Cookbook of Family Favorites from Early Estes Park;” and “Exploring the Park Together – A Family Guide to Rocky Mountain National Park.”

The Estes Park Museum Friends & Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which provides financial support for the Museum’s exhibits, programs, and activities. Benefits of membership include members-only events; discounts on some programs, events and tours; and a 10% discount on most items in the Museum gift shop.

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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