Mountains Majesty: Ecosystems of the Rocky Mountainsby: Elizabeth Rieben, Betsy Wooster, and Leah Quesenberry

Journal ArticleDigital resources are stored online in your NSTA Library.

Traveling from the East, one can see the towering snow-covered peaks of the Rocky Mountains long before reaching foothills. But to fully appreciate these mountains, one must venture into them and experience up close the colorful bursts of summer wildflowers, the glittering leaves of the quaking aspen, the cold clear alpine streams and lakes, and the distinctive sweet scent of the ponderosa pine. Scientists from the Bureau of Land Management provide an in-depth look at the management issues and diversity of plants, animals, and habitats of the Rocky Mountains.

Grades
  • Elementary
  • Middle
Publication Date
11/1/2004

Community ActivitySaved in 205 Libraries

Reviews (5)
  • on Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:03 AM

This article introduces the reader to some of the different ecosystems of the Rocky Mountains and the challenges the Bureau of Land Management has with protecting these diverse land resources. The article has great visuals, background information, and images that could be used by teachers for instruction. This would be great to use while teaching the ecosystems. The article gives examples of plants and animals that can live in the Rocky Mountains. The article explains that fire is a natural part of the forest ecosystem and many plants have to adapt to the fire. The article explains that there is a challenge for land managers to ensure suitable habitat for large and migratory wildlife species. There is a concern for more water since the area’s population growth which most come from mountain streams and rivers. The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is an example. At 7.3 million hectares, it is the largest intact temperate eco- system in the world, containing two national parks, seven national forests, and 12 wilderness areas, as well as private land, much of it under intense development pressure. The Rocky Mountains contain valuable minerals and energy resources that contribute to America’s economy, energy independence, and quality of life. This article is great to help the students learn about the ecosystems.

Cynthia
Cynthia

  • on Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:48 AM

This article introduces the reader to some of the different ecosystems of the Rocky Mountains and the challenges the Bureau of Land Management has with protecting these diverse land resources. It all starts when one understands that the Rocky Mountains is really a combination of over 50 distinct mountain ranges with elevations ranging from 1,500 to 4,400 m. Through an awesome diagram the reader learns about the five different life zones that comprise the highest peaks to the deepest valleys. This article provides enough information to have students understand natures biodiversity as it relates to elevation.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

  • on Tue May 10, 2011 7:21 PM

While this is rated for Elementary and Middle School, High School science teachers of Earth, environmental sci or biology will find a wealth of information here. In addition, the authors have provided information on multiple issues concerning the use of public lands and the organisms found there that could easily lead to research projects or project-based learning lessons for any level. While the article mentions lessons related to it, these are not provided here. Still, reading the information presented as it was gave me all kinds of ideas of projects for students on learning about parks and historical areas of the Rocky Mountains, comparative ecology with the regions I live (in the Midwest), energy resources and the environment, etc.

Tina Harris  (Fairmount, IN)
Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN)

  • on Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:15 PM

The Rocky Mountains is a broad topic (quite literally) to tackle in a single article. Yet "Mountains Majesty" does this well. It offers both a broad overview of the ecology of the Rockies, as well as an introduction to some of the management and environmental issues facing this area of the country. Since this article was written by BLM employees, the article's treatment of the management issues has a decidedly neutral tone. It presents some of the topics such as water usage, mining, and energy development without the politically charged quality that one might encounter in other writings on the subject. This article could therefore be a helpful jumping-off point for students to pursue deeper research on management issues in the Rocky Mountains.

Philip Neilson
Philip Neilson

  • on Tue Jun 21, 2011 6:24 PM

This article presents an in-depth look at the Rocky Mountain's ecosystems. The article is contains fantastic visuals, background information, and images that could be used by students or for instruction. The article discusses both the geology and ecology of the Rocky Mountains. The authors provide an informative overview of the environmental challenges the Rocky Mountain's face, and also the mediation efforts of the various partnerships that manage the land.

Angelika Fairweather  (Bradenton, FL)
Angelika Fairweather (Bradenton, FL)


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