100 Years Of Environmental Change In RMNP

Fire in Ecosystems: Friend or Foe?

Learn with the Rocky Mountain Conservancy Field Institute the first weekend of May at the There’s More to This Place than Meets the Eye: 100 Years of Environmental Change in Rocky Mountain National Park class, May 3, or at the Fire in Ecosystems: Friend or Foe? class, May 4.

These full-day courses are for those who want to learn more about the effects of climate change on Rocky Mountain National Park and the challenges that arise when change occurs in the ecosystems of public lands. Both classes will include indoor and outdoor sessions, allowing participants to view the landscapes being discussed.

“100 Years of Environmental Change in RMNP” provides an overview of the history of environmental change in the national park, emphasizing human-caused change. In this course participants will discuss the history of mining, water engineering, recreational development and tourism, atmospheric inputs of dust and nitrates, wildlife management, and climate change in the context of protecting and restoring natural environments within the national park. The objective is to understand how past human activities influence contemporary ecosystems and options for management of natural resources within the park.

“Fire in Ecosystems” explores the aftermath of one of the worst fire seasons in the known history of the western states. During this class, participants will explore the role of fire in mountain forest ecosystems, typical fire regimes, synergistic disturbances, and predicted changes with climate warming. They will also discuss the history of fire policy ranging from the 10-AM policy to the Let-Burn policy, with the caveat of the wildland-urban interface. Through these discussions, the goal is to better understand the complexity of how climate change may alter fire disturbance regimes.

To learn more about these courses, the qualified instructors leading them, or to register, call the Rocky Mountain Conservancy Field Institute at (970) 586-3262, or visit the website at www.rmconservancy.org.

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