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Human Impacts on the Colorado Life Zones - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Human Impacts on the Colorado Life Zones. Vocabulary. Consequence . - The result or effect of an action. 2) Ecology. - The study of how living organisms and non-living elements are inter-connected. 3) Fragmentation. - To break habitat up into pieces . 4) Indirect Effect.

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  • Consequence

- The result or effect of an action

2) Ecology

- The study of how living organisms and non-living elements are inter-connected

3) Fragmentation

- To break habitat up into pieces

4) Indirect Effect

- A result of an action that is not obvious at the time, or is the result of a chain reaction

4) Exotic Species

- A plant or animal that moves into an area where it did not evolve to live. This happens when certain conditions change to make it possible.

  • Rules of the Web of Life:

  • Everything and everyone is connected together.

  • All of our actions have consequences for other members of the web.


Consequences to Our Environment

Human Needs & Wants

Colorado Life Zones


11,500 +ft.

Sub alpine

10,000 – 11,500 ft.


8,000 – 10,000 ft.


5,500 – 8,000 ft.



3,500 – 5,500 ft.

Q: Why do we live in a dry environment?




A: Rain Shadow Effect

Thinking question:

Where does our water come from?

Human impacts on the prairie
Human Impacts on the Prairie

  • Changes to wildlife habitat

  • Air quality

  • Water quality

Changes to the land
Changes to the Land

Need: Housing

Consequence: Loss of farmland & wildlife habitat

Need: Jobs & Homes

Need: Transportation

Consequence: Fragmented wildlife habitat

Consequence: Water & air pollution

How Does Agriculture Effect the Prairie?


Land Changes


Need: Food



  • What is an indirect effect of growing food ?

Food chain effects of water pollution.

The pollution cycle

What is the lesson ??

We need to make sure our waste is disposed of correctly and safely !!!

Air Quality

Lots of cars!



  • Pollution builds up in atmosphere – brown cloud

  • It doesn’t disappear – it can fall or rain out of the atmosphere onto forests, lakes, streams

  • Human health problems

Human Impacts in Riparian Areas

  • Changes to stream environments

  • Water quality

  • Fish & wildlife habitats


Dams have destroyed many

Riparian systems in the United

States, and in the world.

Why do we need dams?

Grand Ditch

Horsetooth Reservoir

Are there consequences to moving water from rivers to reservoirs?

Human Impacts in the Foothills & Montane

  • Changes to wildlife habitat

  • Increased Fire Risk

  • Invasive plants species

Threats to the foothills
Threats To The Foothills

When people start building houses in the foothills it pushes out animals that use to live there.

Can you think of any other problems new houses cause?

Wildfire in the Foothills & Montane

How do we balance human safety & keeping environment healthy?


Ski Resorts



Livestock Grazing

Wildlife habitat

Water Supply

Air Pollution

Tough Problems Need Creative Solutions !!



Water Quality

Human Interactions with wildlife

Waste Disposal

Tough Problems Need Creative Solutions!

Habitat Corridors

Plants that like dry weather

Create New Wetlands

Here’s some more simple solutions…….

Ride a bike instead of taking the car !

Reuse & Refill!


H2O Purifiers

Keep it out!

Use Non-disposable containers

Important Lessons:

1) Human activity can affect our environment in many different ways.

2) Sometimes, the effects of our actions are hard to see.

3) Human needs & wants should be BALANCED with environmental consequences.

4) There are always things we can do to prevent or make less impact on the environment!