The State of the Rockies Project is in its twelfth year, and seeks to increase public understanding of vital issues affecting the Rockies. All State of the Rockies events are free and open to the public, who are encouraged to join the ongoing discussion of the issues that affect our beautiful yet fragile region.
2014-15 State of the Rockies Project:
Large Area and Landscape Conservation in the Rocky Mountain West: Conserving Communities, Economies, and Environments
Building on last year’s focus and outcomes, our research focuses on large landscape conservation topics in the Rocky Mountain West. This year we will give special attention to environmental governance, or how federal involvement, non-profit, watershed, tribal, and private initiatives shape conservation efforts. We will analyze their role in specific landscape conservation objectives. These objectives range from the protection of biodiversity, to economic sustainability, to cultural preservation efforts. The backdrop of this research will be the complex array of diverse communities, economies, and environments in the Rocky Mountain West.
As economic drivers, demographic trends, and political attitudes change in the American West, so too management approaches have changed to meet the varying demands of communities and economies. Specifically, the organization, management, scale, jurisdiction, and invested stakeholders shaped new conservation efforts. Additionally, as internal economic and demographic forces shape landscapes from the inside, climate change continues to stretch landscapes and environmental managers across the West. Global climate change not only threatens natural environments, but also the human communities that are dependent on them for a way of life.
Large Landscape Conservation in the Rockies: Exploring New Conservation Paradigms for the 21st Century
We released our eleventh annual State of the Rockies Report Card on April 8th, 2014 to a full crowd on the Colorado College campus. The sections of the Report Card includes highlights from our Rockies Project Spine of the Continent Expedition, an investigation of multiple large landscape conservation case studies, and an overview of some of the West's most iconic landscapes. To view the entire 2014 Report Card, please visit this site.
For the fourth year in a row, the Rockies Project has released the annual Conservation in the West Poll. Surveying 2400 registered voters from six western states, the poll provides valuable insight into the attitudes of voters in the Rocky Mountain West. To learn more about the 2014 Poll results, and data from previous years, please visit our Conservation in the West Poll Annual Survey site.
Results of the 2014 Conservation in the West Poll released on Thursday February 13th, 2014 at 9:00am MT.
Summer 2013 Project Field Work
During the summer of 2013 the State of the Rockies Project set out into the field once again to meet with conservation experts, federal officials, and private landowners. Day trips in Colorado and a two-week excursion to the Northern Rockies brought our student researchers face-to-face with many of the West's large landscape conservation initiatives. From private bison reserves, to some of the nation's iconic National Parks, the summer 2013 field work continued our tradition of getting students out-on-the-ground and interacting with key stakeholders involved with complex social and environmental challenges. Check out this brochure that covers our travels from the summer and some of the important organizations we met with along the way.
Spine of the Continent Expedition continues fieldwork tradition of the Project
The Rockies Project set its sights on a topic of continental scale: Large Landscape Conservation. Read our 2013-14 Project Prospectus here. Developing off the successes of our 2011-2013 focus on the Colorado River Basin, we raised awareness of an increasingly important movement in the conservation community using our Project motto: Research, Report, Engage. Continuing our tradition of student-faculty collaboration, we investigated conserved lands in the Rocky Mountain region and some of the initiatives underway to encourage conservation on a landscape-scale. Building on the successes of our Source to Sea expedition and last summer's Down the Colorado expedition, we also headed back into the field to highlight the important work underway through photo and video. Click here to view our 2013 Spine of the Rockies Expedition Description. Additionally, the expedition has been coordinating with groups in the citizen science community to further awareness of this growing aspect of the science community. The expedition explores key areas of wild and open spaces in the Rockies: the Tetons-Yellowstone (Wyoming), the Crown of the Continent (Montana), Thompson Divide (Colorado), and the Sangre De Cristo Mountains/San Luis Valley (Colorado).
View Spine of the Rockies Routes in a larger map
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