The State of the Rockies Project is in its eleventh 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.
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.
2013-14 Rockies Project Focus: Large Landscape Conservation
Thompson Divide Short Film Released
On December 10th we released our most recent video production, a short film on an important place in western Colorado: The Thompson Divide. The Divide is unique landscape situated between two large wilderness areas, and remains largely roadless to this day. However, pre-existing oil and gas leases and the possibility of development have caused locals of the Roaring Fork Valley to rally around the community-based Thompson Divide Coalition to protect this cherished piece of land in their own backyard. The issues in the Divide highlight a growing debate in the Rocky Mountain West regarding a balanced approach towards the development and conservation of public lands.
This short film is part of our 2013-14 focus on large lanscape conservation in the Rockies and is the first part in a series of films leading up to our Spine of the Continent film, set to be released Spring of 2014.
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.
As part of the Rockies Project's 2013-14 focus on Large Landscape Conservation, the Project will once again be holding a speakers series on the Colorado College campus throughout the academic year. Our lineup of experts in the conservation field come from diverse backgrounds and professions, and will help to bring a breadth of knowledge to the Project's research and outreach. we currently have three events scheduled for the Fall of 2013, with plans to continue the series into the Spring of 2014. Please stay tuned for additional details. Click here for our 2013-14 Speakers Series website.
Spine of the Continent Expedition continues fieldwork tradition of the Project
The Rockies Project has 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 seek to raise 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 will investigate 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 will explore 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).
Map of Spine of the Rockies Expeditions for Summer 2013:
View Spine of the Rockies Routes in a larger map
The 2013 State of the Rockies Report Card
On April 9th, 2013 we culminated the work of the 2012-13 State of the Rockies Project at our annual conference with the release of this year's Report Card, titled: Water Friendly Futures for the Colorado River Basin. Major sections of the Report Card include investigations of major water use in the basin, such as Agriculture, Municipal and Industrial Use, and Energy. A section covering the 2013 Down the Colorado Expedition also discusses the Project's field work over the last year.
To see more info on this year's Report Card and to download the entire report, or specific sections, click here.
For the third year in a row, the State of the Rockies Project, in conjunction with Lori Weigel, Public Opinion Strategies and Dave Metz, Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates, has conducted the annual Conservation in the West Poll. The survey, conducted in six western states, explores bi-partisan opinions in each state and for the six-state region concerning conservation, environment, energy, the role of government, trade-offs with economies, and citizen priorities. Please visit the Conservation in the West Poll site to learn more about the 2013 Poll and to see results from previous year's polling.
*Poll results were released on Thursday February 7th, 2013 at 9:30am MST*
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.
Rockies Project expedition featured on eTown!
Check out this short film highlighting our expedition managers Will Stauffer-Norris and Zak Podmore on the radio show eTown recorded in front of a live audience in Boulder, Colo. Learn more about their 2011-12 Source to Sea Expedition.
Follow the Updates From the Field!