On Wednesday, October 8th, HCCA hosted our Annual Meeting and Potluck. We were so pleased with the turn-out, and thought-provoking speaker, Professor John Hausdoerffer.

Hausdoerffer is a Professor in and Director of the Master of Environmental Management Program, Professor of Environmental Sustainability & Philosophy, and Director of the Headwaters Project at Western State Colorado University. We are thankful that he joined us in Crested Butte to discuss, “What is your ‘rice’? Claiming the ecological basis of your community.” In the talk, Hausdoerffer discussed communities throughout the world, where cultures are changing due to a changing physical and ecological landscape. Whether it is indigenous people in the Great Lakes Region of Minnesota and their traditional means of sustenance, wild rice; the Hindus of India and their relationship to the Ganges, and the ever-shrinking glacier at  its headwaters; or Inuit Tribes in Alaska, whose homelands are threatened by warming climates and thinning ice; these people have a deep connection to their environment. One that gives them intrinsic meaning, and sense of place in the world. So as these natural features shift, Hausdoerffer asked, how do people adapt to their changing landscapes, while staying true to their sense of self and home?

In Crested Butte, we maintain a relationship with our changing landscape. This can be seen in our seasonally shifting snowpack, that brings us life-giving water, but also supports our tourist-based economy. As the climate warms, and threats on our environment diversify, and as we continue to fight the threat of a mine on Red Lady, we need to keep Prof Hausdoerffer’s words in mind. It is up to us, to protect our chosen landscape, and by doing so, hopefully we can contribute to the betterment of the greater earth.

Thanks to all that joined us at the meeting, and a very special thanks to Professor Hausdoerffer. For more information on his work, and the new Master in Environmental Management (MEM) graduate program at WSCU, go here.

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Dicktoria, the Red Lady, herself.

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Prof Hausdoerffer, with his daughter.

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Board President, Rob Burnett and meeting attendees.

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Public Lands Director, Alli Melton and Water Director, Julie Nania

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The group, listening to Alli and John.