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2009 Conference

The 2009 State of the Rockies Symposium was held April 5-7, 2009

Visions of the Rockies in 50 Years: Will Our Children Thank Us?


Symposium Partner:

The Green Channel on Comcast on Demand

The eight-state Rocky Mountain West is a region in rapid transition, with the highest population growth rate in the nation and new industries and diverse economies emerging. Recent change is undeniable: The rural West, long home to boom-bust cycles fueled by demand for natural resources, is declining in population, as "mega" metropolitan corridors suck jobs and residents from surrounding areas and other regions. New industries and knowledge-based innovation are emerging as economic engines. And a worldwide thirst for energy and minerals reintroduces natural resource extraction in isolated areas. Caught in the whirlwind of change are vital natural and recreational resources, including wild and scenic rivers and wildlife struggling to cope with fractured landscapes and habitat encroachment. What does this mean for the Rockies during the next 50 years? Predicting the future is risky, but neglecting to anticipate and plan for continued change is even more foolhardy. The 2009 State of the Rockies Symposium, over three days in April, asks, what kind of Rocky Mountain West will our children inherit in the next five decades? Will they thank us, or blame us?

2009 Symposium Schedule

Sunday, April 5 ~ Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO
Sunday April 5, 2009

1:30 - 9:00 PM - A Future Rockies for Recreation - Symposium Theme of the Day

1:30 - 3:30 PM – Lightweight Backpacking Clinic (surviving on 7 pounds!): Andrew Skurka, National Geographic Adventure Magazine's 2007 Adventurer of the Year: The Walking Man. Discussion, demonstration, hands-on equipment demos of lightweight gear (tickets required). - Slocum Commons

4:00 - 5:15 PM – Walking the Great Western Loop: Andrew Skurka, National Geographic Adventure Magazine's 2007 Adventurer of the Year: The Walking Man, illustrated talk: on 7 months, 6,875 miles (33 miles per day) with 7 pounds of equipment on 7,000 calories per day, visiting 12 National Parks and over 75 wilderness areas (distance equivalent to 262 marathons). - Armstrong Theater

5:30 PM - 6:30 PM – Rockies Dinner for students and community participating in symposium (tickets required). - Slocum Commons

7:00 - 9:00 PM – Evening Symposium Talk: Armstrong Theater
Symposium Welcome
Short Unveiling of 2009 Rockies Report Card
A Future Rockies for Recreation: A business vision of the Rockies in 50 years and its impact on recreation and the environment.
Sally Jewell, President and CEO, Recreational Equipment Inc.

Monday April 6, 2009

4:00 - 9:00 PM - A Future Rockies through Compromise and Consensus - Symposium Theme of the Day

4:00 - 5:30 PM - Saving the Spine of the Rockies: Discussion and audio-visuals on a conservation plan to protect the heart of the Rockies, including the Southern Rockies ecosystem Project and Yellowstone to Yukon; speakers: Joshua Pollock, Acting Ex. Dir, Center for Native Ecosystems; and Penelope Pierce, Regional Director, Yellowstone to Yukon - Armstrong Theater

5:30 PM - 6:30 PM – Rockies Dinner for students and community participating in symposium (tickets required) - Slocum Commons

7:00 - 9:00 PM – Evening Symposium Talk: Armstrong Theater
2008-09 Champion of the Rockies Award, by Pres. Celeste
Ed and Betsy Marston, High Country News
A Future Rockies through Compromise and Consensus: A "radical center:" nongovernmental examples of how to foster wildlife
George Cooper, President and CEO, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
Dr. Mark Shaffer, Director, Environment Program, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

Tuesday April 7, 2009

6:00 - 9:00 PM - A Future Rockies Filled With People - Symposium Theme of the Day

7:00 - 9:00 PM – Evening Symposium Talk: Armstrong Theater
Symposium Welcome
Announcement/recognition of student photo contest
A Future Rockies Filled with People: A demographic look at Megapolitan and Rural Service Clusters in the Rockies
Prof. Robert Lang, Co-Director, Metropolitan Institute, Virginia Tech University
Amy Liu, Deputy Director, Metropolitan Policy Program, Brookings Institution

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