EDITEIDT Talks by a well-known environmental author and a CEO of a Rocky Mountain ski company, and the screening of a National Geographic documentary, followed by a discussion led by two Montana conservation experts, are the highlights of an April environmental conference at The Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The free three-day spring conference is sponsored by The Colorado College’s State of the Rockies Project, now in its eighth year, in which faculty and students examine the fragility of the Rocky Mountains.
Details from the 2011 State of the Rockies Report Card, which grades conservation in the Rockies, will be revealed at the conference. A full report will be posted in April on the State of the Rockies website.
Summaries will appear in Headwaters News in April.
Below is a look at the April conference, which is titled “Envisioning and Managing Rockies’ Unique Landscapes and Resources.”
Prolific social and environmental writer Terry Tempest Williams will lecture beginning at 7:30 p.m. April 4 at The Colorado College’s Armstrong Hall, 14 E. Cache La Poudre St.
Williams will no doubt talk a bit about the nuclear reactor failures in Japan in the wake of the 9.0 earthquake and tsunami catastrophes. Williams grew up in a large family downwind from the Nevada Nuclear Test Site near Las Vegas. Many in her family have cancer, and she believes it’s due to radioactive fallout from the site. In 1991, she published a memoir about living near a nuclear test site called “Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place.”
A few years ago, Williams told The Progressive magazine about her respect for land and wildlife.
“This is the source of where my power lies,” Williams said. “We are animal. We are Earth. We are water. We are a community of human beings living on the planet together.”
The problem, Williams said, is that too often we forget this interrelation.
“We become disconnected,” she told The Progressive. “We lose our center point of gravity, that stillness that allows us to listen to life on a deeper level and to meet each other in a fully authentic and present way.”
Williams’ most recent book is “Finding Beauty in a Broken World.” A book signing and refreshments will follow her talk.
At the conference, Williams will receive the “Champion of the Rockies” award from The Colorado College.
Mike Kaplan, CEO of Aspen Skiing Co., will give a talk beginning at 7:30 p.m. April 5 at Colorado College’s Cornerstone Arts Building, 825 N. Cascade Ave.
Kaplan has been involved in the ski business since 1986. He’s been at Aspen Ski Co. since 1993, working his way up from managing director of a ski and snowboard school to CEO, which he was named in 2006.
His talk, which will be followed by a question-and-answer session, is titled, “What Do We Want to Be? Business and Community Coming of Age in the Rockies.”
At 7 p.m. on April 6 there will be a screening of National Geographic’s 50-minute documentary “American Serengeti,” which premiered last year on the National Geographic Channel.
The documentary was filmed in Montana, and following its showing there will be a question-and-answer session led by two Montana conservationists: Martha Kauffman, managing director of World Wildlife Fund’s Northern Great Plains Program; and Dick Dolan, managing director of the American Prairie Foundation.
Mark Barna, is a writer and researcher for the State of the Rockies Project at the Colorado College.