PROSPECT BASIN FENS RESEARCH
Prospect Basin, located at an elevation of 11,000 feet in the Telluride Ski Resort (TelSki), is home to five unique wetlands called fens. TelSki implemented significant measures when building ski runs in this area in order to protect the rare ecosystems of the fens, which are particularly high in biodiversity, function as carbon sinks, and help store and filter water high up in the watershed.
The Telluride Institute (TI), in partnership with TelSki, wetland ecologist Dr. David Cooper from Colorado State University (CSU), and others, is undertaking environmental studies in the Prospect Basin Fens. Through these partnerships, TI also engages the public in educational programs on topics such as plant identification, natural history tours, and hands-on ecological restoration. TI partners with CSU and Western Colorado University (WCU) to help facilitate graduate student research in the fens. Through these actions, TI creates experiential learning opportunities for all ages that help foster a greater understanding and appreciation of these unique, high-elevation wetlands.