Researchers use records kept by Henry David Thoreau and Aldo Leopold to track global warming impacts

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Wildflowers are blooming much earlier than just a few decades ago due to global warming. Bob Berwyn photo.

Some wildflowers blooming weeks earlier than just a few decades ago

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Henry David Thoreau and Aldo Leopold would probably appreciate that their meticulous observations of nature are helping today’s scientists unravel some of the mysteries of global warming.

The two naturalists kept detailed phenological records, noting when certain flowers bloomed in the spring, and today’s researchers now now that some native plants in the eastern United States are flowering as much as a month earlier in response to a warming climate.

“These historical records provide a snapshot in time and a baseline of sorts against which we can compare more recent records from the period in which climate change has accelerated,” explains Stan Temple, a co-author of the study and an emeritus UW-Madison professor of wildlife ecology. Temple is also a senior fellow at the Aldo Leopold Foundation in Baraboo, Wis., a stone’s throw from the iconic shack where Leopold made many of his observations. Continue reading

New Aldo Leopold documentary screening in Colorado

Aldo Leopold.

Front Range dates include April 19 in Denver, April 22 in Fort Collins

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Just in time for Earth Day, the Wildland Awareness and Education Institute, US Forest Service and The Wildlife Experience will host an April 19 screening of a new film called Green Fire, the first full-length, high-definition documentary film ever made about legendary conservationist Aldo Leopold.  The film explores Aldo Leopold’s life in the early part of the twentieth century and the many ways his land ethic idea continues to be applied all over the world today.

Leopold’s many achievements included developing the first comprehensive management plan for the Grand Canyon, writing the Forest Service’s first game and fish handbook, and proposing Gila Wilderness Area, the first national wilderness area in the Forest Service system. Continue reading

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