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For Immediate Release

Media contacts:
Jane Turnis
(719) 389-6138
JTurnis@ColoradoCollege.edu

Leslie Weddell
(719) 389-6038
Leslie.Weddell@ColoradoCollege.edu

 

                                                        
IMMIGRATION, DEVELOPMENT STRAIN
 HOUSING, WILDLANDS IN THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN WEST

Good news: Western states capable of becoming world-class production region
for renewable energy, Colorado College report finds

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – March 26, 2008 – The eight-state Rocky Mountain West, the fastest-growing region in the United States, is feeling the effects of growth, including an influx of immigrants at a rate twice that of the nation as a whole.

The region suffers from a lack of affordable housing. Increased development puts pressure on its pristine wildlands. And failing dams, abandoned mines and roads threaten water quality.

But with growth, opportunities are arising as well. The Rocky Mountain region, which already has relatively inexpensive energy, is well positioned to develop renewable energy via its outstanding solar, geothermal, wind and biomass resources. And river restoration projects can turn the liability of aging dams, defunct mines and unused roads into an economic asset for many communities.

The fifth annual Colorado College State of the Rockies Report, to be released April 7, and the State of the Rockies Conference, April 7-8 on the Colorado College campus, will examine these and other critical issues that affect the eight-state Rocky Mountain region, comprised of Colorado, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

This year’s 120-page report addresses the following issues:

  • Immigration in the Rockies
  • Affordable Housing in the Rockies: Housing a Region in Transition
  • Renewable Energy in the Rockies: Responsibly Using the Resources of the West
  • Wilderness and Extractive Industries: An Economic Transition in the Rockies
  • Restoring Rivers in the West: Environmental Benefit, Economic Opportunity

Each year, the State of the Rockies Project team, which includes Colorado College undergraduate students, recent graduates and a faculty adviser, conducts extensive research and creates a comprehensive report on the region.

The State of the Rockies Conference draws speakers and political, environmental, economic, cultural and community leaders who shed additional light on the report’s content with lectures and discussions about the “state” of the beautiful yet fragile Rockies region.

The centerpiece of the conference is the 2008 Rockies Report Card, this year featuring 120 pages of research findings, essays, detailed charts, graphics and rankings that provide an insightful view of the region’s trends and challenges.

The Colorado College State of the Rockies Conference, April 7-8, will feature keynote speaker Gale Norton, former secretary of the interior, and workshops led by the student researchers. It will be preceded by a film screening on April 6, in which seven films that deal predominately with various aspects of growth and its impact on the West will be shown. Films vary in length from 5 minutes to 53 minutes.
All events will be held on the Colorado College campus in Colorado Springs. The conference is free and open to the public; registration is not required. For more information, call (719) 227-8145 or visit www.ColoradoCollege.edu/StateoftheRockies.

Conference Schedule:

Sunday, April 6, 2008
Film screening: Films ranging in length from 5 to 53 minutes include "Nobody's Home," "The Missoula Urban Chicken Debate," “Voices Beneath the Peak,” "Keepers of the Flam" (a documentary about flammulated owls) "The Lost People of Mountain Village," "The Hatch" and “A Land out of Time,” an official selection of more than 15 film festivals, including Telluride, Whistler, Newport Beach, Aspen and Taos.
4:30 p.m., Colorado College, Armstrong Theatre, inside Armstrong Hall, 14 E. Cache La Poudre St., free

Monday, April 7, 2008
Workshop: Affordable Housing in Colorado Springs: Existing Options and Future Opportunities — Workshop led by student researcher Wylie Rogers, as part of the annual State of the Rockies conference. Participants will include representatives from the City of Colorado Springs’s Office of Housing and Community Development, Partners in Housing and Habitat for Humanity.
4:30 p.m., Colorado College, Gaylord Hall, main floor of Worner Campus Center, 902 N. Cascade Ave., free

Monday, April 7, 2008
Workshop: Renewable Energy: Residential Solutions to a National Problem — Workshop led by student researcher Liz Kolbe as part of the annual State of the Rockies conference. Participants will include representatives from Colorado Springs Utilities, SolSource and Colorado Springs citizens who have utilized solar energy in their homes and businesses.
4:30 p.m., Colorado College, Slocum Commons, first floor, SW wing, Slocum Hall, 130 E. Cache La Poudre St., free

Monday, April 7, 2008
Workshop: Managing Rockies Wilderness and Wildlands: The Pike National Forest Travel Management Plan — Workshop led by student researcher Brandon Goldstein as part of the annual State of the Rockies conference. Participants will include representatives from Wild Connections-Upper Arkansas and South Platte Project; the USDA Forest Service, Pike & San Isabel National Forests; Central Colorado Wilderness Coalition; and the Pikes Peak Sierra Club.
4:30 p.m., Colorado College, Gates Common Room, third floor of Palmer Hall, 1025 N. Cascade Ave. (east of Tutt Library), free

Monday, April 7, 2008
Lecture: Gale Norton, Keynote Speaker — Norton is former secretary of the Department of the Interior. 
7:30 p.m., Colorado College, Armstrong Theatre, inside Armstrong Hall, 14 E. Cache La Poudre St., free

Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Workshop: Connecting Colorado College to Local Immigrant Communities — Workshop led by student researcher Simon Cataldo as part of the annual State of the Rockies conference. Participants include representatives from Colorado College State of the Rockies Project, Colorado College Office of Civic Engagement, Pikes Peak Immigrant and Refugee Collaborative, Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, Colorado Springs School District 11, Lutheran Family Services, Colorado College student body and Colorado College Career Center.
4:30 p.m., Colorado College, Gates Common Room, third floor of Palmer Hall, 1025 N. Cascade Ave. (east of Tutt Library), free

Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Workshop: River Restoration Opportunities in the Fountain Creek Watershed — Workshop led by student researcher Lucy Emerson-Bell as part of the annual State of the Rockies conference. Participants include Richard Muzzy, Environmental Planning Program Manager from the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments; Carol Baker, Colorado Springs Utilities; Gregory Zimmerman, Watershed Coordinator from the Colorado Watershed Assembly and representatives from the Fountain Creek Watershed Vision Task Force and the Fountain Creek Restoration Project.
4:30 p.m., Colorado College, Slocum Commons, first floor, SW wing, Slocum Hall, 130 E. Cache La Poudre St., free

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. 

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 1,975 students study one course at a time in intensive 3½-week blocks. For more information, visit www.ColoradoCollege.edu <http://www.ColoradoCollege.edu>.