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RMNP Lyceum Continues Saturday Evening Programs

Photo by Jerry Suchman

Saturday, February 20, 7:00 p.m.-”America’s Wilderness: A Political Climate Change?” Garry Oye, the National Park Service (NPS) Chief of Wilderness Stewardship in Washington DC., will discuss national interest in proposed Wilderness for National Parks. NPS currently has stewardship responsibilities for 60 Wilderness areas in 49 parks for a total of 44 million acres. There is current national dialogue over an additional 26 million acres of Wilderness- Oye asks the question, “If not now, when?” Garry will also discuss environmental leadership initiatives that he has been involved with: National Landscape Conservation Strategies, Wilderness Stewardship Plans, Wilderness Character Assessments and Wilderness eligibility studies.

Over the last 32 years Oye has had a rich career with assignments in Idaho, California, Colorado, Utah and Washington DC. “Every place I’ve worked, there was a strong connection to wild places. Wilderness has shaped my life, and I hope to help preserve these unique American landscapes for generations to come.”

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.

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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