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For Immediate Release

Contact: Jane Turnis
(719) 389-6138


National Parks, Energy, Sprawl, Toxic Waste, and Civic Engagement Examined

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - March 24, 2005 - The second State of the Rockies Conference at Colorado College, April 5-7, will continue its tradition of examining issues and identifying problems in this unique region including energy, the health of our national parks, urban sprawl, toxic waste, creative occupations patterns, and civic engagement and capacity.

The highlight of the conference will be the unveiling of the 2005 Rockies Report Card, which will provide a comprehensive and accessible statement on trends and challenges in the eight Rocky Mountain states: Colorado, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. The report will grade or rank the top counties, and other entities in the region, in key areas:

· National Parks Under Stress - Which national parks are deteriorating from lack of sufficient funds? This section grades the health of national parks in the Rockies from “A” to “F”.
· Rockies Energy Futures - Which parts of the Rockies are producing versus consuming the most energy? This section ranks top counties and states in a variety of energy areas.
· The Toxic Rockies - Which communities in the Rockies are the most polluted? This section ranks top counties in toxic air and land releases, and water discharges.
· Rockies Sprawl Index - Which metropolitan areas are struggling with low-density sprawling development? This section ranks all metropolitan areas in the Rockies for sprawl.
· Native American Tribes Regaining Sovereignty - What can be learned from the successful community development and natural resource management efforts of the region’s Native American tribes? This section shares several success stories from the region’s Native American communities.
· Creative Occupations Patterns - Where do creative people live? What do they do for a living? This section ranks the top communities in the Rockies on their creative social capital and environment.
· Civic Engagement and Capacity - Which communities have the most active civic participation in the Rockies? This year’s State of the Rockies overall GPA grades from “A” to “D” all 280 counties in the eight-state region on civic engagement and capacity.

A “Rockies Baseline” section of the report will be introduced for the first time to track vital signs that depict a region in transition.

The Rockies Report Card and Conference will give community, government, and business leaders the tools and the forum necessary to use collaborative interregional approaches to solving difficult local problems.

The State of the Rockies Conference will feature panels, discussions, and keynote speakers, including New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, who will discuss “A New West, A New Energy Policy,” on Wednesday, April 6, at 7:30 p.m. All events will be held on the Colorado College campus in Colorado Springs. The conference is free and open to the public. Registration is required. For more information, call (719) 227-8145 or visit www.ColoradoCollege.edu/StateoftheRockies <http://www.ColoradoCollege.edu/StateoftheRockies>.

Conference Schedule

Tuesday, April 5, 2005
Gaylord Hall inside Worner Campus Center, 902 N. Cascade Ave.
1:30 p.m. -- Unveiling of the 2005 State of the Rockies Report Card, and results of “Rockies’ Baseline: Vital Signs For A Region in Transition”
2:15 p.m. -- Cathy Robbins, associate vice president, El Pomar Foundation, on “The Challenge of Creating Community in the Rockies,” plus results of “Ranking Each Rockies County on Civic Capacity and Engagement,” by Chase Whitney and Matthew Lee-Ashley, results of “Evaluating Rockies’ Employment Creativity Measures,” by F. Patrick Holmes, and discussants Mary Lou Makepeace, director, Gay & Lesbian Fund for Colorado, and Joseph Garcia, president, Pikes Peak Community College
3:50 p.m. -- Prof. Phillip M. Kannan, CC Distinguished Lecturer and Legal Scholar-in-Residence, on “The Toxic Rockies: Law as Cause and Cure,” plus the results of “Evaluating Rockies’ Pollution,” by Bryan Hurlbutt and Caitlin O’Brady
7:30 p.m. -- Gates Common Room in Palmer Hall, second floor
Patricia Limerick, professor of History & Environmental Studies, faculty director, Center of the American West at University of Colorado, Boulder on “The Rockies: Enduring Myths and Iconoclastic Realities,” and Terry L. Anderson, executive director, Property and Environment Research Center, Bozeman, Montana on “From the Old West to the New West and Back Again”

Wednesday, April 6, 2005
Armstrong Theater in Armstrong Hall, corner of Cache La Poudre and Uintah Streets
1:30 p.m. -- Results of “Energy Use/Development Patterns in The Rockies,” by Chase Whitney, F. Patrick Holmes and Bryan Hurlbutt, with respondents Michelle Sullivan, Wyoming rancher and president, Ucross Foundation, and John Nielsen, energy program director, Western Resource Advocates
3:30 p.m. -- Amory Lovins, CEO, Rocky Mountain Institute, Snowmass, Colorado, on “Winning the Oil Endgame: What Role for the Rockies?”
7:30 p.m. -- 2005 State of the Rockies Conference Keynote by Bill Richardson, Governor of New Mexico, “A New West, A New Energy Policy,” followed by respondent Matt Simmons, president, Simmons & Co., Intl.

Thursday, April 7, 2005
Gaylord Hall inside Worner Campus Center, 902 N. Cascade Ave.
8:30 a.m. -- Informal Focus Group Session - Launching a New West-based Web discussion about key topics, problems and issues pertinent to the Rockies, moderated by Prof. Walter Hecox, director, CC State of the Rockies Project, and Jonathan Weber, founder & editor in chief of New West - The Voice of the Rocky Mountains, a new online publication devoted to the Mountain West
1:30 p.m. -- A. David Lester, executive director, Council of Energy Resource Tribes, and Jacqueline Johnson, executive director, National Congress of American Indians, on “Perspectives on Native American Sovereignty,” a presentation of Native American Nation Success Stories from 2005 State of the Rockies Report Card by Chase Whitney, followed by Tony Skrelunas, director, Native American Program, The Grand Canyon Trust, and Ira New Breast, executive director, Native American Fish and Wildlife Society, as discussants.
3:30 p.m. -- Results of “Grading Rockies’ National Parks,” by F. Patrick Holmes and Bryan Hurlbutt, “West Yellowstone’s Economy & the Vagaries of Snowmobile Access,” by Bryan Hurlbutt, “A National Monument Becomes a Park: Great Sand Dunes,” by Christie Renner, and results of “Grading Rockies’ Communities on Urban Sprawl,” by F. Patrick Holmes
Armstrong Theater in Armstrong Hall
7 p.m. -- Terry Tempest Williams on “Ground Truthing: The Open Space of Democracy,” sponsored by the Colorado College English Department’s MacLean Fund for English Studies Symposium on “Literature and Environmental Imagination.” Tickets required.

About the State of the Rockies Project

The Colorado College State of the Rockies Project is designed to provide a thoughtful, objective voice in regional issues by offering credible research on problems facing the Rocky Mountain West, and by convening citizens and experts to discuss the future of our region. Each year the Project provides opportunities for collaborative student-faculty research partnerships, an annual State of the Rockies Report Card, and a companion State of the Rockies Conference. Taken together, these three arms of the Project offer the tools, forum, and accessibility needed for Colorado College to foster a strong sense of citizenship for both our graduates and the broader regional community.

About Colorado College

Colorado College is a nationally prominent, four-year liberal arts and sciences college that was founded in Colorado Springs in 1874. The college operates on the innovative Block Plan, in which its 2,000 students study one course at a time in intensive 3½-week blocks. For more information, visit www.ColoradoCollege.edu.