Forest at Risk Symposium set for June 24-25 in Aspen | AspenTimes.com

Forest at Risk Symposium set for June 24-25 in Aspen

Staff report
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado

ASPEN – Details of an upcoming symposium that will focus on the stress levels of mountains, forest and rivers in the West were announced Thursday.

The Forest at Risk Symposium is scheduled June 24 to 25 on the grounds of the Aspen Institute. The Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, commonly known as ACES, organized the event in partnership with the Aspen Environment Forum (a program of the Aspen Institute) and in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Forest Service.

“The climate changes we face will affect vital relationships that communities from Aspen to Los Angeles have with forests and the vital resources – like drinking water – that they provide,” said Chris Lane, CEO of ACES, in a statement. “By gathering business and nonprofit leaders, scientists and policy makers, we will be better able to address the challenges we face.”

The ACES event opens from 6 to 8 p.m. on June 24 at the Aspen Institute’s Doerr-Hosier Center with a video presentation by James Balog – “A Changing Climate – What Do Dying Forests and Melting Glaciers Share in Common?” Following the video will be presentations by Maggie Fox, president of the Climate Reality Project, and David Orr, chair of environmental studies at Oberlin College.

“This is a solution-oriented symposium that will examine policy responses and adaptive management strategies for the changing landscapes of the West,” said John Bennett, who is organizing the ACES event, in a statement. “This year’s symposium will explore solutions with federal agencies like the U.S. Forest Service, private-sector CEOs from the Aspen Skiing Co. and Snowbird Resort, and two utilities: Denver Water and Southern California Edison.”

Undersecretary of Agriculture Harris Sherman, whose office oversees the U.S. Forest Service, is the first keynote speaker of an all-day symposium that runs from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 25.

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“This is an impressive program of speakers with a strong agenda,” Sherman said in a statement. “It’s extremely relevant to the forest conservation challenges we face as a nation – the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies is asking exactly the right questions.”

Other speakers include Bill Possiel, president of the National Forest Foundation; Frank Lowenstein, climate adaptation strategy leader for the Nature Conservancy; Craig Allen, research ecologist for the U.S. Geological Survey; Ethan Aumack, director of Restoration Programs at the Grand Canyon Trust, and other leaders and scientists.

The symposium will overlap the last day of the Aspen Environment Forum sponsored by the Aspen Institute and National Geographic. The Environment Forum, which has the theme of “Living in the New Normal,” will review strategies for coping with climate change and its environmental consequences. Aspen Environment Forum participants will be able to attend Forest at Risk sessions.

For more information on the Forests At Risk Symposium, visit aspennature.org. For tickets, go to aspenshowtix.com, or call the Wheeler Opera House box office at 970-920-5770.

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