Plan to add one of the following Field Sessions to your first day at the Symposium. Both sessions will offer experiential programs on local and regional rights-of-ways against the backdrop of the breathtaking Rocky Mountains.
Continental Divide Field Session
This field session will take passengers on a scenic route over (and under!) the Continental Divide providing breathtaking views of some of Colorado’s highest mountain peaks during peak autumn colors. Along the way, passengers will partake in a field introduction to one of Xcel Energy’s 230 kV transmission lines where tour hosts will offer information on how Xcel Energy utilized remote sense data (LiDAR/imagery) to manage vegetation and utility assets both on and off the rights-of-way for wildfire prevention and protection. A demonstration of geospatial work and management software will also be given. Participants will be exposed to important topics related to management of National Forests and critical forest health issues such as the role climate change plays with the Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic. As participants make the journey back from the mountains to the city, a stop and tour of the Coors Brewery will provide a final “taste” of the Rocky Mountains.
Rocky Mountain National Park Field Session
This field session will take participants up to Estes Park, at the base of Rocky Mountain National Park, to learn about water conveyance and delivery in Colorado. Approximately 80 percent of the state’s water originates on the Western Slope (west of the continental divide of the Rocky Mountains), but more than 80 percent of Colorado’s population resides on the semi-arid Eastern Slope. This poses unique and often controversial challenges, particularly amid a changing climate and increasing resource demand. Participants will learn about the Colorado Big Thompson Project, a historic project that brings water through the Rocky Mountains to Estes Park and beyond, and the Prairie Waters Project, a recent project that further conveys water along the Eastern Slope. Both projects faced interesting right-of-way issues, and showcase a crucial resource for Colorado – water. The backdrop of this field session will include stunning views of the Rocky Mountains, and a chance to see elk herds during the autumn elk rut season.