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WMPAC to host public symposium on Crown of the Continent, Greater Yellowstone

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BIG SKY – The public is invited to the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center in Big Sky on Monday, July 28 for a symposium on two of the Northern Rockies’ most beloved ecosystems.

Together, the Crown of the Continent – located in northwest Montana and southern Alberta, Canada – and the Greater Yellowstone ecosystems cover more than 30 million acres. The symposium, called the University of Montana’s Crown of the Continent and Greater Yellowstone Symposium, will bring together researchers and representatives working on conservation and wilderness studies in these areas.

The event will feature discussions and panels on the Greater Yellowstone and Flathead Lake as well as grizzly bear and cutthroat trout recovery efforts, among others. The symposium will also feature an evening lecture and presentation of 120 photos that showcase the mountains, rivers, forests, glaciers, geysers, volcanoes and wildlife of the area. All events are free and open to the public.

Researchers from UM and Montana State University will present, along with representatives from the Nature Conservancy of Montana, the Montana Land Reliance, The Wilderness Society, the Montana Wilderness Association, the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, the Yellowstone Park Foundation, the Montana Geographic Alliance and the Montana Institute on Ecosystems – a project funded by the National Science Foundation that extends to both UM and MSU.

For more information call Rick Graetz, co-director of the UM Crown of the Continent and Greater Yellowstone Initiative, at (406) 439-9277 or email


9 a.m.: Opening remarks by UM President Royce Engstrom.

9:20 a.m.: Organization missions and donation usages

10:15 a.m.: Presentation: “The Concept of the Greater Yellowstone,” by Rick Reese, a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition.

10:45 a.m.: Presentation: “Flathead Lake and the Flathead River System;” Tom Bansak, research scientist at UM’s Flathead Lake Biological Station.

11:15 a.m.: Panel: Discussing communications with the public. Moderated by Peter Aengst of The Wilderness Society.

12:15-1 p.m.: Lunch on the premises.

1 p.m.: Presentation: “Grizzly Bears in the Crown and Greater Yellowstone – An Update,” Chris Servheen, UM researcher, associate professor of wildlife conservation and grizzly bear recovery coordinator.

1:45 p.m.: Panel: Discussing fundraising, bundling, etc. Moderated by Paul Reichert from Yellowstone Park Foundation.

2:45 p.m.: Presentation: “Yellowstone Lake – Status of the Program to Eradicate Lake Trout and the Health of the Cutthroat Trout Population,” Ken Barrett from Yellowstone Park Foundation.

3:30 p.m.: Panel: Discussing citizen scientists and how to get people more involved at the grassroots level. Moderated by Caroline Byrd, executive director of Greater Yellowstone Coalition.

7 p.m.: Lecture and Photo Program: “The Park and the Ecosystem.”

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