Tales from the Tread: Museum opens river exhibits June 2 | SteamboatToday.com

Tales from the Tread: Museum opens river exhibits June 2

A sunset on the Yampa River is just one photo that will be on display in the Tread of Pioneers Museum's newest exhibit, which will debut June 2.
John Fielder/Courtesy photo

The Tread of Pioneers Museum opens two extraordinary exhibits on June 2 for First Friday Artwalk and the beginning of the Yampa River Festival.

“Lens on the River: A Photographic Journey on the Yampa River with John Fielder” features the stunning work by the award-winning photographer and environmentalist.

The Yampa River images for the exhibit were hand-selected by Fielder from a previous collaborative book project to help bring attention to the threats to what is effectively one of the last rivers in the Western United States that is free of major diversions or dams. Fielder and museum staff hope this exhibit helps raise awareness for the Yampa River and increases measures to ensure river health and vitality.

“Nature is paying a high price as our rivers dry up, and alarm bells are sounding as we witness declining flows in our beloved Yampa,” said Fielder.

During his 40-year career as a nature photographer and publisher, Fielder has worked tirelessly to promote the protection of Colorado’s ranches, open spaces and wildlands. His photography has influenced people and legislation and has earned him considerable recognition.

Fielder is generously donating his commission on the sale of these signed exhibit prints to Friends of the Yampa, whose mission is to protect and enhance the environmental and recreational integrity of the Yampa River and its tributaries through stewardship, advocacy, education and partnerships.

“The Yampa River: From the Flat Tops to the Green River”

The Yampa River is further explored in this companion exhibit that also opens Friday, June 2 at the museum. A collaboration between the Tread of Pioneers Museum and Friends of the Yampa, this exhibit focuses on the historical and scientific aspects of the Yampa River and its valley, as well as the river’s hydrology, ecosystems, wildlife, uses, needs and threats. The exhibition also highlights the effects of climate change, drought, and other impacts on the river, as well as the work of local and statewide organizations trying to protect the river that is so vital to Northwest Colorado.

“We are thrilled to be able to work with Friends of the Yampa and the esteemed photographer and environmentalist John Fielder on these two exhibits,” said Candice Bannister, the museum’s executive director. “We hope these exhibits help boost the collective efforts to effectively utilize, enjoy and protect this irreplaceable resource.”

If you go

What: John Fielder and Yampa River Exhibit Opening Receptions

When: Friday, June 2, 5-8 p.m.

Where: Tread of Pioneers Museum, 800 Oak St.

Tickets: Free event and complimentary food and drinks; Routt County residents enjoy free admission every day to the museum

More info.: treadofpioneers.org

Exhibit highlights include striking river imagery from local and Colorado photographers, including Noah Wetzel, Ben Saheb and Abby Jensen. The exhibit will also feature a 4-foot, 3D, topographical relief map of the entire Yampa River basin, following the river’s 260-mile journey from the Flat Tops to the Green River.

“The Yampa River exhibit is a valuable extension of the work FOTY currently engages in and helps us reach a large audience over the next 12 months,” said Jenny Frithsen, environmental program manager at Friends of the Yampa. “We are honored to partner with Tread of Pioneers Museum in bringing this exhibit to the local community.”

The museum invites local schools, clubs and camps to bring students to the museum year-round to experience these feature exhibits. “Stewardship seeds need to be planted early in life. So we want to help kids understand the value and our role in protecting natural and historic resources,” said Bannister.

Bannister also hopes to work with commercial property owners along Yampa Street to relocate the display in May 2024 to a space along the Yampa River. “As more visitors and locals can continue to learn about and connect with the Yampa River, we hope to inspire a movement of river stewardship and joint efforts to help safeguard it.”

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