Big Sky Lecture Series to Discuss Climate Change

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   February 5, 2009
Contact:   Danielle Blank, National Parks Conservation Association, 406.222.4478
Twila Moon, Big Sky Institute, 406.993.9355
Marne Hayes, Big Sky Chamber of Commerce, 406.995.3000


Big Sky Lecture Series to Discuss Climate Change

Big Sky will host four free presentations intended to spark a community-wide dialogue about the region’s changing climate. The lecture series, called “The Heat Is On: Climate Change in the Yellowstone Ecosystem,” is being organized by the National Parks Conservation Association, the Big Sky Institute, and the Big Sky Chamber of Commerce. The talks, to be held in February and March, will feature experts in ecology, economics, tourism, infrastructure, and sustainability practices.

“This is a great opportunity for community members to receive sound information on how climate change is impacting wild lands we all treasure and depend on,” said Twila Moon of the Big Sky Institute.

Danielle Blank of the nonprofit National Parks Conservation Association, the nation’s leading voice for national parks, agrees. “Climate change is already affecting our national parks, including treasures like Yellowstone and Glacier,” she said. “We need to find solutions to preserve them for our children and grandchildren.”

This series will bring leading thinkers from around the region to address the following subjects:

February 12 - Climate Change in the Yellowstone Ecosystem: Cathy L. Whitlock, professor of earth sciences at Montana State University will discuss how warmer winters, earlier spring snowmelt, and hotter summers are affecting the ecosystem around us.

February 26 - Costs of Climate Change Inaction: A panel discussion on what global warming could cost our fishing and tourism industries, and the expense of increased fire activity in our state.

March 12 - Yellowstone National Park in a Changing Climate: Jim Evanoff, sustainability coordinator for Yellowstone National Park, will discuss the many ways climate change is impact Yellowstone’s natural environment, and the innovative and proactive approach the park is taking to reduce its carbon footprint.

March 26 - Climate Change Solutions for the West: A panel discussion on the promises and pitfalls of options for addressing climate change, and how various policies would impact Montana and our region.

The presentations will be held in the Big Sky Community Library at the Ophir School. They will begin at 7:00 p.m., and are free and open to the public.  

“We live in a community that is impacted so much by weather patterns,” said Marne Hayes, Executive Director of the Big Sky Chamber of Commerce. “It’s our responsibility as a business organization to educate the community about the possible costs of not reacting to this global shift.”

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