Presents list of lectures for the 2008-09 Fall-Winter Colorado College State of the Rockies speaker series: Hunting: blood sport or wildlife management tool? / Kent Ingram, Bob Goodnough, David Crawford -- Can we save Colorado’s rivers? The future of the Cache la Poudre of Northern Colorado / Gary Wockner, Brian Werner -- Wolves on the range: threat to ranching or essential wildlife management force? / Jon and Deb Robinett, Harris Sherman, Sally Wisely -- Bison in Yellowstone: pests or natural icons? / Amy McNamara.
Biological diversity includes the variance in genes, organisms, and relationships found in nature. Also called biodiversity, it provides countless economic, social, and personal benefits to people in the United States and all over the world. In the U.S., this is recognized by the federal government most explicitly in the Endangered Species Act’s protections for those flora and fauna whose survival is least likely and most endangered by human action. Unfortunately, there are many anthropogenic threats to biological diversity. In order to protect this incredible natural resource, responsible management must be implemented across all levels of government. Given the amount of funding, large spatial scales, and public interest at stake, the federal government is the best suited to this task. The federal government must play a key role in the protection of biological diversity. The purpose of this paper is to provide a qualitative analysis of the federal government’s management of biological diversity in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Examining management at these scales is uncommon, yet extremely valuable. By examining management on scales that coincide with the scale of natural processes, we can better see the broad implications and interactions of our management policies. We can also determine how to sharpen management in order to more accurately address these important scales. In order to achieve this, a basic overview of modern conservation science and terms to be utilized will be provided. Building upon this overview, four categories will be describe, which, according to the science, are vital to the preservation of biological diversity. These categories are cores, connectivity, restoration, and monitoring. There will be three standards used to assess the quality of policy. Scientific foundations, the human-nature nexus, and adaptability are these three measures. The Greater Yellowstone ecosystem will then be described. Finally, in each of the four categories, examples of policy or management action will be described and analyzed via the three measures of successful policy. This analysis shall provide examples of policies with varying degrees of success. By extrapolating management from these representative case studies, an aggregate picture of management across the ecosystem will be gained. It is hoped that such analysis will uncover areas where management may be improved and facilitate the spread of successful policies and management ideas. It is also intended as a suitable framework for examining and creating biodiversity management policies in other ecosystems, regions, and countries.
For the summer of 2013, with the focus was on large landscape conservation, the team set sights northward. With stops like Yellowstone, Bozeman, Missoula, and the Flathead River Valley, this year’s field work involved meetings with conservation experts, and individuals tied to the past, present, and future of land use and conservation here in the Rocky Mountain West. In addition to the 3,400 mile journey from Colorado Springs to the Canadian Border, the team also conducted field research in Colorado’s Sangre de Cristo Mountains, and the Front Range of Colorado.
Amy McNamara, the National Parks program director for the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, delivered this final lecture in the 2008-2009 Fall/Winter State of the Rockies Speaker Series. Also part of Notable Lectures & Performances series, Colorado College. Recorded February 23, 2009.