Apr 212003
Authors: Adrienne Hoenig

Several organizations will team up Friday to demonstrate the uses of small diameter wood in Colorado.

The Nature Conservancy, U.S. Forest Service, Interior West Center for the Innovative Use of Small-Diameter Wood, Educo and CSU students will host a Community Gathering from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at the Environmental Learning Center’s Welcome Center off Interstate 25 on Prospect Avenue.

“You can use small-diameter wood and still have a beautiful structure,” said Shane Butterfield, executive director of Educo. “We’re getting a lot of people together to talk to reach a community goal.”

Educo is an organization that strives to foster leadership, compassion and a sense of purpose in young people through outdoor education. They are in the process of building Blue Moon Mountain Ranch in the Red Feather Lakes area. It will be modeled to demonstrate sustainable development and energy efficient resource conservation through the use of small-diameter wood.

“We are a demonstration site for CSU and the Nature Conservancy,” Butterfield said. “To demonstrate how someone can live using sustainability and have a symbiotic relationship with the environment.”

Lisa Dale teaches the public relations for natural resources management class at CSU. Her students organized much of this Community Gathering.

“It’s really an excellent opportunity both academically and in terms of the issue,” Dale said. “Students get to really do hands-on work.”

Students in Dale’s class are getting a lot out of the hands-on experience.

“It’s a great way to learn, really feeling like you are actually doing something,” said Dana Higgins, senior wildlife biology student. “It’s really a learn-as-you-go kind of process.”

The Nature Conservancy includes Blue Mountain Ranch as part of its Fire Learning Network to increase fire awareness in northern Colorado.

“Our goal is to produce information and tools to help improve land management,” said Heather Knight, Laramie Foothills project director. “We’re encouraging people to be creative, use responsible management and think about living with sustainability.”

The event will include interactive display and presentations by Dyce Gayton from the U.S. Forest Service, fire ecologist Bill Romme, Gailmarie Kimmel from the Interior West Center for the Innovation Use of Small Diameter Wood and others.

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