Importance of Public Lands in the Rockies Supported by Letter to President Obama

Walt Hecox, the Rockies Project Faculty Director, has served on a Steering Committee to draft content for and solicit signatories for a letter to President Obama at this critical time: deep fiscal dilemmas and an impending national election in 2012 combine to threaten the public lands in the Rockies.  Broad support exists for maintaining existing public lands managed under multiple-use, as is strongly supported by the Conservation in the West Survey results hosted by the Rockies Project.  The next annual Conservation Survey will be conducted in January 2012.
                Release of this letter to the president, signed by 100+ economists including 3 Nobel laureates, half located in the American West, seeks to inform public debate at this critical time.  The very context of the Rockies is inextricably intertwined with the exploration and settling of the West; uses and management change, but what has been steadfast for many decades is the value of these public lands for recreation and tourism, a stimulus to attracting employers and employees, and diverse local and regional economies adjacent to public lands involved in mining, agriculture, forestry, water, mineral and energy production.
                There can and should be a healthy debate about uses and management of public lands.   The fundamental purpose of the Colorado College Rockies Project is clear from our motto:
                RESEARCH—REPORT--ENAGE
Over 9 + years research by Rockies student researchers has shed light on a number of dimensions to our public lands and environment.

                We encourage a vibrant but fact- and science-based discussion of complex uses and demands placed on public lands and believe that efforts such as this Letter to the President are consistent with our existence and mission.  We welcome others to explore our findings and participate in this vital public debate.

Content from the November 30th, 2011 Letter to President Obama:

Access to Rockies Research and Publications on Public Lands and the Environment:

Date of Publication: Title: Authors:
April 2011

The Rockies: A Region Continually Defined and Redefined by Resources and Environment 

Prof. Walter Hecox, Rockies Project Faculty Director
April 2011

The Eastern Plains: Decline and Rejuvenation

Brendan Boepple and Rebecca Spira, 2010-11 Rockies Project Student Researchers
April 2011

Recreation: Nature Based Recreation in the Rockies: The New Value of the Region’s Resources

Emil Dimantchev with help from Zoe Osterman, 2010-11 Rockies Project Student Researchers
April 2010

Agriculture in the Rockies: Land and Water

Katherine Sherwood, 2009-10 Rockies Project Student Researcher
April 2010

Agriculture in the Rockies: Production

Russell Clarke, 2009-10 Rockies Project Student Researcher
April 2009

Repopulating the Rockies: Highlighting the Megapolitans and “Rural Economic Clusters of the Region"

Porter Friedman, 2008-09 Rockies Project Student Researcher
April 2009

Wild and Scenic Rivers: The Importance of Federal River Protection in the Rockies

Sarah Turner, 2008-09 Rockies Project Student Researcher
April 2009

US Laws and Policies Protecting Wildlife

Phillip Kannan, Distinguished Lecturer & Legal Scholar-in-Residence, Environment Program, Colorado College
April 2009

Wildlife Range and Condition: The Historic and Current State of Wildlife in the Rockies

Julia Head, 2008-09 Rockies Project Student Researcher
April 2009

Impacts of Energy Development on Wildlife: Highlighting the Unique Resources of the Region

Alex Weiss, 2008-09 Rockies Project Student Researcher
April 2009

Wildlife Management: Facilitating Safe and Sustainable Wildlife Populations in the Rockies

Scott Wozencraft,  2008-09 Rockies Project Student Researcher
April 2008

Renewable Energy in the Rockies: Responsibly Using the Resources of the West

Elizabeth Kolbe, 2007-08 Rockies Project Student Researcher
April 2008

Restoring Rivers in the West: Environmental Benefit, Economic Opportunity

Lucy Emerson-Bell, 2007-08 Rockies Project Student Researcher
April 2008

Wilderness and Extractive Industries: An Economic Transition in the Rockies

Brandon Goldstein, 2007-08 Rockies Project Student Researcher
April 2007

Water Sustainability in the Rockies: Agriculture to Urban Transfers and Implications for Future Water Use

Tyler McMahon, 2006-07 Rockies Project Student Researcher and Matthew Reuer, Environment Program Technical Director
April 2007

The Healthy Forests Restoration Act

Phillip Kannan, Distinguished Lecturer & Legal Scholar-in-Residence, Environment Program, Colorado College
April 2007

Forest Health in the Rockies: Human Needs and Ecological Reality

Carissa Look, 2006-07 Rockies Project Student Researcher and Matthew Reuer, Environment Program Technical Director
April 2007

Feeding from the Federal Trough: Patterns of Federal Government Expenditure Around the Rockies

Pablo Navarro, 2006-07 Rockies Project Student Researcher
April 2006

Ranching in the Rockies: Threats and Signs of Hope

Andrew Yarbrough and Jared Kapela, 2005-06 Rockies Project Student Researchers and Caitlin O’Brady, Rockies Project Research Manager
April 2006

Conservation Easements: Preserving Private Land in the Rockies

Jared Kapela and Andrew Yarbrough, 2005-06 Rockies Project Student Researchers and Bryan Hurlbutt, Rockies Project Program Coordinator
April 2006

New Resource Management: Innovative Approaches in the Rockies

Chris Jackson, 2005-06 Rockies Project Student Researcher
April 2006

Experiments in Managing the Federal Estate: The Case of the Valles Caldera National Preserve and Trust

F. Patrick Holmes, former Program Coordinator, State of the Rockies Project
April 2006

The Endangered Species Act of 1973: An Overview

Phillip Kannan, Distinguished Lecturer & Legal Scholar-in-Residence, Environment Program, Colorado College
April 2006

Preserving Biodiversity: Mapping Habitat Threat in the Rockies

Amanda Strauss, 2005-06 Rockies Project Student Researcher, Bryan Hurlbutt, Rockies Project Program Coordinator, Caitlin O’Brady, Rockies Project Research Manager
April 2006

Regional Challenges of Future Climate Change: Endless Summer or Business as Usual?

Matthew Reuer, Environment Program Technical Director
April 2006

Climate Change: Modeling a Warmer Rockies and Assessing the Implications

Gregory Zimmerman, 2005-06 Rockies Project Student Researcher, Caitlin O’Brady, Rockies Project Research Manager, Bryan Hurlbutt, Rockies Project Program Coordinator
April 2005

National Parks Under Stress

F. Patrick Holmes, Rockies Program Coordinator and Bryan Hurlbutt, 2004-05 Rockies Project Student Researcher
April 2005

Rockies Energy Futures

Chase Whitney, Visiting Student Researcher, Bryan Hurlbutt, 2004-05 Rockies Project Student Researcher, F. Patrick Holmes, Rockies Project Program Coordinator
April 2005

Rockies Sprawl Index

F. Patrick Holmes, Rockies Project Program Coordinator
April 2005

Native American Tribes Regaining Sovereignty – Success Cases

Prof. Walter Hecox, Rockies Project Faculty Director, Rebecca Schild, 2004-05 Rockies Project Student Researcher, Chase Whitney, Visiting Student Researcher
April 2004

Grading the Rockies: Land and Environment

Prof. Walter Hecox, Rockies Project Faculty Director and F. Patrick Holmes Rockies Project Program Coordinator

Other Organizations involved in the Public Lands letter: