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Shining Mountains Annual Dinner Features Rob Edward Speaking About Wolves And Ecotourism

The Shining Mountains Group Annual Dinner will be held on Saturday, November 15 at the historic Crag’s Lodge, The View Restaurant.

The evening begins at 5:00-6:30 with Social Hour and a Cash Bar. from 6:30-8:00 will be the sumptuous buffet dinner followed by the program, Howling Back: Wolves in Rocky Mountain National Park by Rob Edward.

The public is welcome to join all Colorado Mountain Club members for this riveting evening.

Rob Edward, Carnivore Recovery Director for WildEarth Guardians will present a compelling case for the need to restore wolves to Rocky Mountain National Park and the rest of the Southern Rocky Mountains. As the National Park Service prepares to undertake a costly and unpopular plan to kill thousands of elk in Rocky Mountain National Park each year, WildEarth guardians is speaking truth to power, demanding that wolves be restored before more drastic measures such as culling are implemented. Moreover, just as Rocky Mountain National Park needs wolves, so does the rest of western Colorado. Join in for an informative and engaging discussion about one of the most important ecological issues of the day.

Rob has worked on issues pertaining to the restoration and protection of wolves and other carnivores since 1994. In his present capacity, he oversees the scientific, political and public policy aspects of the organizations efforts to restore wolves, grizzly bears, lynx, wolverine and other large carnivores to the American West.
Donna Peck, outfitter for hunting and photographing elk near the Weimunuche Wilderness stated, “There’s a song in the air that’s missing. I can hear the mountain lion scream, the bull elk bugle, the marmot whistle and magpie squawk but there’s still something missing without the wolf.” It is said that Coloradoans want to hear the haunting wolf call in the wild.

Wolf Ecotourism

In 1995, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began reintroducing the endangered grey wolf, a keystone species to the Greater Yellowstone Area and central Idaho. Yellowstone National Park instituted a Visitor Survey in 2005 for purposes of estimating regional economic analysis, visitor attitudes toward wolf recovery and wildlife and visitor expenditures. Visitors were asked to list the three animals from a list of 16 that they would most like to see while in the park. The two highest were wolves and grizzly bears.

The 2005 recreational visitation levels yielded an estimate of 326,000 visitors who saw wolves, visitors coming to the Park from outside of the Greater Yellowstone Area to specifically see or hear wolves spent a total of $35.5 million!

It was said that the $35.5 million a year wolf tourism brings in grows to $70 million a year as the money gets passed around local communities (lodging, restaurants, gas stations, gift shops, bookstores, tour guides, tourist centers, etc.) Growth in wolf ecotourism has been phenomenal, visitors not only coming from all over the U.S. but from countries world-wide. Tourism is at the top of Colorado’s economy. It is not difficult to realize that the reintroduction of the wolf to Rocky Mountain National Park would be an incredible stimulus to the economy of the Park, as well as the gateway communities such as Estes Park and Grand Lake and to the whole state of Colorado.

Along with the riveting program, the evening will provide fun, fellowship, and fabulous food at the Crags Lodge in Estes Park. The dinner fare includes delicious foods starting with tender boned breast of chicken, roasted and garnished with parmigiano glaze, Spanakorizo, elegant sweet grain rice, savored with spinach, Fettucini pasta a la Italiano, summer squashes, Greek salad, fresh baked artisan focaccia bread, followed by delectable homemade apple strawberry fantasia in creme frache. Cost is only $17.00 and this includes your dinner, tax, gratuity and the program!

Space is limited, so get your reservation in now. Call Madeline Framson at 586-6623 for more information or to reserve your space.

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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