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Rocky Mountain National Park Lyceum Series Continues

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

Saturday, February 19, 7:00 p.m. The Flameless Fire of Pine Beetles? The Ecological Consequences of the Mountain Pine Beetle Outbreak

Is the unprecedented mountain pine beetle outbreak in Rocky Mountain National Park similar to a flameless fire with the potential of achieving similar results of wildfires? No. Significant differences between fire and insect outbreaks mean that the current outbreak will not mimic the influences of fire on the forest landscape. In contrast, the current outbreak will likely create very different landscapes as compared to the fire-shaped landscape that existed in Rocky Mountain National Park before the pine beetle outbreak. Come learn about what over 10 years of research on fire and mountain pine beetle outbreaks in RMNP suggest the future forest landscape of the park may look like.

Dr. Jason Sibold is Assistant Professor of Geography at Colorado State University. Jason is a biogeographer with research focused on disturbance ecology with a specific interest in how wildfires and insect outbreaks shape forest ecosystems. His research is centered in the Rocky Mountains, and Andes and Coastal Range of south-central Chile. Jason received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Boulder. His current research projects include modeling post-mountain pine beetle outbreak forest landscapes in Rocky Mountain National Park, identifying the relative roles of past pine beetle outbreaks and climate change on patterns of recent wildfires in Glacier National Park, and investigating fire-climate-regeneration relationships in Alerce forests of south-central Chile.

Saturday, February 26, 7:00 p.m. Firewise Communities Principles and Practices

Fire is an important part of the life of our forests – but it can be a scary thing to consider for those who live in the forest. To save lives and property from wildfire, National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) “Firewise Communities” program teaches people how to adapt to living with wildfire and encourages neighbors to work together to take action now to prevent losses. We all have a role to play in protecting ourselves and each other from the risks of wildfire. Dave Nuss, Wildland Fire Operations Division Manager for NFPA, will present the basic concepts and actions that make up the “Firewise Communities” program, and discuss ways an individual or a community can take action.

Dave manages all of NFPA’s wildland fire activities, including the well-known Firewise Communities program, and national and international outreach and advocacy for wildfire issues. Dave was a career firefighter and progressed through the ranks to deputy chief; he has over 22 years of service in Colorado and Oregon. During that time he served on various state and national committees regarding technical fire code development and public education and outreach. A graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program, Dave holds an undergraduate degree in Technical Management from Regis University in Denver and a graduate degree in Public Administration from the University of Colorado-Denver School of Public Affairs.

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.

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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