Mountain Studies Institute and the San Juan Public Lands Office are teaming up to present a free conference on how climate change may affect the San Juans and how land managers and others can cope with the change.
The conference will be in Silverton from Oct. 6-9.
“Climate adaptation is built upon the shoulders of committed, informed citizens, working together for just and resilient systems,” said Anne Izard, education director at MSI. “This is a valuable approach to manage for resiliency and it requires vision and insight. Inspiration and education are the foundation for the change we seek.”
The 2010 Climate Conference is titled “Managing for Resiliency in the San Juan Mountains,” and aims to bring leaders who will spark our imagination and compel us to new action, Izard said. This 3-day event is free and open to the public.
The 2010 conference is the next phase of a grassroots stakeholder- and scientist-driven effort to: (1) assess existing and potential threats caused by climate change, and (2) develop strategies to plan for, adapt to, and reduce the effects of climate change on ecosystems and society. Participants will have the opportunity to explore community adaptation tools and strategies for climate change in fields from natural resources and land management to energy and tourism.
“MSI is excited about this opportunity to host a dialog between the many different stakeholders affected by climate change and the scientists who are researching climate in our region,” Izard said.
The conference will open Wednesday, Oct. 6 with a presentation, “Alpine to Arctic: Signs of Climate Change,” by Dr. Heidi Stetlzer from Fort Lewis College. Stetzler will explain what signs and symptoms other high-elevation communities have experienced in relation to climate change and how we in the San Juan Mountains can utilize this information to make better-informed adaptation plans.
Wednesday’s talks will take place at Town Hall in Silverton and begin at 5:30 p.m. Immediately following, speakers, sponsors, and participants are invited to Montanya Distillers for a reception.
Thursday and Friday consists of a combination of lectures, panel discussions, and workshops to take place from 8-5 p.m. at Kendall Mountain Recreation Area.
Topics include precipitation changes, managing for adaptation in the face of climate change, Colorado water use and policy, empowering rural communities, carbon management, tools for drought planning, an¡d more.
This year’s speakers include representatives from the Western Water Assessment, Colorado Water Conservation Board, University of Colorado, Fort Lewis College, Sequoia National Park, NOAA, Center for Snow and Avalanche Studies, Rutgers University, USGS, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Colorado Senate, Colorado Water Congress, The Nature Conservancy, San Juan County, and Mountain Studies Institute.
For a completed schedule with speakers and titled talks please visit the conference website: http://wwa.colorado.edu/climate_change/Silverton_Oct_2010.html
The conference will conclude Saturday after a morning of field trips to research sites in the area. Participants will have the opportunity to choose between various projects including mine restoration with biochar, Pika habitat, and fen wetlands.
San Juan Public Lands Center and the Mountain Studies Institute are offering this 3-day conference for FREE!
For more information about the 2010 Climate Conference and for details on how you can become a conference sponsor, contact Anne Izard at (970) 387-5161 or visit www.mountainstudies.org.