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Beatrice Willard Alpine Tundra Research Plots

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  • Beatrice Willard Counts Plants at Her Plots

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    In 1959 Beatrice Willard established Alpine Tundra Research Plots near the Rock Cut parking area and the Forest Canyon Overlook along Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park. Her research at the plots led to changes in park policies as well as a better understanding of alpine tundra ecology.
    Beatrice Willard Counts Plants at Her Plots
  • New Tundra Policies

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    As a result of Willard's research, Rocky Mountain National Park implemented new policies to protect the delicate alpine tundra. Here a ranger escorts visitors who have gone off-trail near Willard's Forest Canyon Overlook plot.
    New Tundra Policies
  • Paved Paths Prevent Shortcutting

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    One of Willard's major recommendations was the construction of paved paths at heavy-use parking areas and overlooks such as Rock Cut (pictured here) to prevent visitors from forging their own shortcuts across the alpine tundra.
    Paved Paths Prevent Shortcutting