Tourists ask about climate change |

Tourists ask about climate change

Allen BestVail, CO Colorado

BANFF, Alberta – When do deer turn into elk, and elk into moose? Tourists may still ask those questions, but nowadays theyre also asking about climate change in the mountains, reports the Rocky Mountain Outlook. To that end, the Banff Centre this week held a two-day session entitled Communicating Climate Change.A lot of guides have been getting questions and/or comments form their guests about climate change, both in winter and in summer, said Dave Verhultz, executive director of the Mountain Parks Heritage Interpretation Association.People want to know, either what they (guides) think about climate change, if they think its affecting the Rockies, and are we worried about it.Added Verhultz: Its amazing how much its in the forefront of peoples minds.On the Pacific Coast, visitors to the glaciers of Whistler-Blackcomb ski area this summer will have the opportunity to learn more about the effects of climate change in new specially guided trips. Arthur DeJong, manager of mountain planning and environmental resources, told Pique newsmagazine that climate change is most evident above treeline.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS Are there good-paying real jobs in mountain towns other than hawking real estate are slathering masonry around river rocks?In Steamboat Springs there are. One of the newer companies, SmartWool, a brand name for comfortable wool socks, was founded in 1994. The actual socks are made overseas, but the business is operated in Steamboat, where 52 employees are located.Mark Bryden, company president, partly credits a 25 percent increase in sales last year to the enthusiasm and talent of new employees. Those employees, drawn from Nike and other corporations, wanted career advancement while also pursuing the outdoor lifestyle implied in the companys core product line.Our heritage who we are and what were about as a company is intertwined with this location, he told the Steamboat Pilot & Today.The company was sold in 2005 to The Timberline, a Fortune 500 company, whose international distribution network has also aided sales.Steamboats mountain lifestyle also explains the location of TIC, also called The Industrial Company. Founded in Steamboat Springs in 1974, the company initially built condominiums and pipelines but now has operations in 28 states and offices in two foreign countries.Headquarters remains in Steamboat Springs, as do 200 employees and a steady stream of the other 9,000 employees for training sessions, says Planning Magazine.

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