Estes-Park.com Blog

Volunteer for BioBlitz in RMNP

Rocky Mountain National Park and National Geographic are looking for volunteers to assist with a very special event.  The BioBlitz will be held Friday, August 24, and Saturday, August 25, 2012, in Estes Park, Colorado.
Part scientific endeavor, part festival, and part outdoor classroom, the goals of the BioBlitz are to explore, discover, and document the living creatures in Rocky Mountain National Park; provide scientists and the public an opportunity to do field work together; and to better understand how to protect the natural environment in the future.

Volunteers are needed to fill a number of vital positions for this one-of-a-kind event.  Volunteers are needed both in the field and at the Biodiversity Festival, to be held at the Estes Park Fairgrounds.  Field positions include Education Leaders, Education Assistants, and Science Site Assistants.  Festival positions include staff for Welcome and Education Booths, Activity Leaders, AV Assistants, Grounds Crew, Science Support, and Transportation, Hospitality, and Equipment Aides.  Park staff are also seeking Campground Host Volunteers.

To find out more about specific volunteer positions and how you can get involved, please go to:
http://www.nps.gov/romo/supportyourpark/volunteer.htm

BioBlitz events are being held in ten different national parks leading up to the National Park Service Centennial Celebration in 2016.  Rocky Mountain National Park is the sixth site and the first to feature a mountain ecosystem.  Come be part of this fun and exciting event!

Click on this link for more information about Rocky Mountain National Park, or call the park’s Information Office at (970) 586-1206.

The Park isn't Burning Down

Smokey Sunrise over Sprague Lake

This year is one of those really dry years and in combination with high winds, wildfires are always possible.  We recently had about 20 homes catch fire at the western edge of Estes Park.  That fire lasted only a few hours and the local fire departments did an amazing job saving as many homes as possible.  We all are keeping those folks who lost homes and cherished memories in our hearts.  But it is important to know that the park is fine and the fires around Colorado are not limiting your Rocky Mountain National Park experience at all.

We can see a plume of smoke most days from the High Park Fire to our northeast (which is near Fort Collins), but that smoke is blowing east.  Most mornings when you look east you can see the smoke layer way out over the great plains.  This picture of Sprague Lake shows that well.  But in the park we haven't seen smoke except for two days with odd winds blowing in from the plains east to west (typically the wind blows west to east). 

Wildfire, though destructive to homes, is actually very natural and extremely beneficial to the ecosystems of the Rockies.  Fires have burned in our forests nearly every 200-400 years, and it is nature's reset button.  As soon as that ash cools, a vast variety of plant seeds that have been sitting dormant in the soil start to take off.  Flowers like Fireweed, Locoweed, and Lupine will start growing from the ashes.  Lodge Pole Pines have cones specially designed for fire, called serotinous cones that open after temps reach around about 150 degrees F, and they will replant the forest.  Eventually the forest will regrow completely and years from now, those burnt areas will be vibrant and healthy.

Guest post by Jared Gricoskie of Yellow Wood Guiding.  To schedule a tour of Rocky Mountain National Park visit YWGuiding.com.