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The environment desk at Aspen Public Radio covers issues in the Roaring Fork Valley and throughout the state of Colorado including water use and quality, impact of recreation, population growth and oil and gas development. APR’s Environment Reporter is Elizabeth Stewart-Severy.

Through Words And Pictures, ACES Gives Pause To ‘The Hidden Life Around Us’

Courtesy Aspen Center for Environmental Studies
“The Hidden Life Around Us” includes photos taken by Peter Feinzig, and nighttime images from game cameras located at the Hallam Lake Nature Preserve in Aspen.";s:

A new coffee table book from The Aspen Center for Environmental Studies documents Aspen’s surroundings through photos and essays. The book is called “The Hidden Life Around Us,” and includes over 400 species of plants, animals, bugs and fungi surveyed at the organization’s 25-acre Hallam Lake Nature Preserve in Aspen.

“Our hope was if you can expose the world to this magnificent array of biodiversity around them that you maybe don’t see every day, that people would gain an appreciation for what’s around them and therefore protect it,” said ACES chief executive officer Chris Lane.

He said the images contributed to the book by photographer Peter Feinzig paint an all-encompassing look at the local ecosystem—one that includes black bears and mountain lions that were caught on camera for the project. Game cameras even caught a cougar feeding at the preserve at night.

Lane and ACES Forest and Climate Director Adam McCurdy contributed to the written portion of the book, which includes descriptive snippets about local organisms and personal anecdotes about the region’s environment. "National Geographic" photographer and filmmaker Pete McBride and "Denver Post" environmental writer Bruce Finely also penned essays for the book, and discussed some of the risks posed by climate change to the area’s ecosystem. 

“The whole book came together so well from a writing standpoint,” said Lane. “It’s not only something you look at on a coffee table, but something you could go to bed at night and read and really learn a lot.”

“The Hidden Life Around Us” is available for purchase on ACES website.

Kirsten was born and raised in Massachusetts, and has called Colorado home since 2008. She moved to Vail the day after graduating from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2011. Before relocating to Basalt in 2020, she also spent a year living in one of Aspen’s sister cities, Queenstown, New Zealand.
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