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This new book looks at the geology, history, and ecology, of Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado and the science behind changes that have been taking place there over time. Based on reviews of the latest published studies by science researchers and scholars and the National Park Service as well as independent university and governmental agencies, Dr. Gootz takes readers through the complexities and interrelationships between and among plants, animals, and people, as well as their impact on one another. Included as well are lucid explanations of how the climate of the American West, including Rocky Mountain National Park has changed, as well as the relationship between local weather events and global climate patterns. Particularly pertinent are the sections on snow pack, drought, and violent storm events such as the flooding that occurred in September 2013 in RMNP and most of Colorado's front range communities. A theme of the book is that responsible decision-making for the future growth and health of the flora and fauna in the Park is everyone’s responsibility and depends on an understanding of these complex issues. This includes members of the public who come in such extraordinary numbers each year to explore the Park’s beauty, and by those living locally, for whom the Park both frames and enriches daily life. The book is divided into eleven chapters. In brief, the first chapter describes the geographic and geologic evolution of mountains and valleys in the Park, the impact of the ice age and subsequent episodes of glaciations, and the long term implications of these for Park terrain and soil; Chapter two reviews the human history of Rocky Mountain National Park, from the earliest pre-historic visitors until the dedication of the National Park in 1915, and beyond; the focus of Chapter 3 is climate change and its effects on the Park’s ecosystems, particularly over the last twenty years; Chapter 4 considers the pika, that elusive rabbit cousin, whose home is in the Park’s alpine zone that is highly sensitive to a warmer climate; Chapter 5 explains the negative effects from greenhouse gases on our climate and the impacts of atmospheric nitrogen pollution on alpine habitats and their delicate ecosystems; Chapter 6 describes the current threats to the Park’s forest structures from the mountain pine beetle including some newly discovered information about its life cycle; Chapter 7 reviews the history of fire in the Park and the mountain pine beetle’s impact on forests both east and west of the Continental Divide; Chapters 8, 9, and11 discuss the challenges faced by elk, beaver, and big horn sheep in the park; while Chapter 10 recounts the story of wolf restoration in Yellowstone National Park and its effects on elk numbers and distribution as well as the controversy over effects on the recovery of willow and aspen. Taken together, the scope of issues occurring in the Park and the steps being taken by the Park Service to address them described in this important book, draw the attention of lay readers and scientists alike to the many and diverse challenges facing wildlife habitats in the Park, in Colorado and across the West. These interrelationships demonstrate the truth of John Muir’s famous quotation: “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”
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Thomas Gootz spent his career in pharmaceutical research. He has contributed to over 100 peer reviewed publications in journals including Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy and the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Tom has applied his scientific training in biology to the study of wildlife and nature. He has also been very active in nature photography around the world, sharpening his skills as both a photographer and speaker. Tom has spent considerable time reading and learning about wildlife and he is committed to sharing his interests with others. He is particularly interested in the threats to our environment from global climate change. He is currently a director, Association for Responsible Development in Estes Park, Colorado.
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Book Description Estes Park Museum Friends & Foundation, Incorporated Press, 2014. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0984778055
Book Description Estes Park Museum Friends & Fo, 2014. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110984778055