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Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center auditorium (click here for google maps)
6:30pm—The critically acclaimed documentary “ELEMENTAL: Reimagining Our Relationship With Fire” will be shown in the UW Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center auditorium. “ELEMENTAL” includes the voices of climate experts, Indigenous people and fire survivors, and “asks us to reimagine our relationship with wildfire as we prepare for an increasingly hotter future.”
“In a visually stunning manner, ‘ELEMENTAL’ distills what we have learned about wildland fire over the decades and provides a roadmap for badly needed changes that will benefit thousands of people, particularly in fire-prone communities,” says Michael Dombeck, former U.S. Forest Service chief.
The Collective, 100 s 2nd St, Laramie, WY
1-4pm: Interactive open house, art & education
See time-lapse photography of fire recovery
Make pinch pots with clay from the burn zone
Experiment with charcoal drawings
Make block prints of fire-affected mammals
Leave a memory and photo on the community wall
Learn about wildland firefighting workwear
Hear results from community monitoring of the burn zone
Learn what to do for fire recovery on your property
Hear about work opportunities in the Mullen burn zone
Drink fresh, foraged tea from the burn zone
Take home a pocket guide to five wildflowers of the burn zone
4-5pm: Panel discussion on different relationships to fire
Evan Barrientos, an artist documenting and observing fire recovery
Brent Ewers, botanist and director of the Biodiversity Institute
Amber Travsky, wildlife biologist, freelance writer, fire nerd
5-6pm: Social hour, beer, snacks, food truck
6-7pm: Storytelling, Tales at the Taphouse, "Living with Fire"
Fire changes landscapes. The Mullen Fire changed ours. The forest is not what we once knew, but it is still there, growing. Mullen Days organizers Birch Malotky, Rhiannon Jakopak, and Sadie Winter created this pocket guide with the hopes it will help you come to re-know some small part of the land. It covers fireweed, yarrow, strawberry, fleabane, and arnica. You can print off this single sheet of paper and fold it in this way to make your own!
Community Reflection Hike through the Burn
Join licensed professional counselor Stephanie Hanson and the staff of Healing Hikes (UW counseling interns, Alexandra Quinn Parmely, Kit Freedman, and Ryan Boysen) for a guided reflection experience at the burn site of the Mullen Fire. Participants will be invited, but not required, to reflect and process personal and community-wide impacts of the Mullen Fire using journaling conversation prompts, time in silence, and mindfulness. We'll consider what has been lost, what has been gained, and how we can approach our future with fire.
10am: Meet at The Collective (100 S 2nd St) for a cup of coffee and to arrange carpools. If you can give a ride, please bring your car. If you don't have a ride, please come and we will find one for you.
11am: Depart from Lincoln Gulch trailhead. (41.109669, -106.149322) It's opening weekend of open season so please WEAR ORANGE, and bring orange. Wear sturdy shoes and be prepared for Laramie's unpredictable fall weather.
1pm: Back in town. This is an estimate, please drive separately if you have a hard deadline.
Over the course of exploring the burn zone—finding charred trunks and fireweed, chipmunks and elk tracks—and reflecting individually and together, each participant in the field trip wrote one line of a poem, which we read altogether to close the day. Listen here or read the text. Thank you to all who participated.
In the fall of 2020, the Mullen Fire burned more than 170,000 acres in and around the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest just west of Laramie, Wyoming. In addition, it consumed 63 structures, around half of which were homes, and forced the communities of Albany, Keystone, Lake Creek, Miller Lake, Fox Park, and Foxborough to evacuate. Those of us living in Laramie at the time might recall the yellowed skies, the advisories to stay inside, and the ash falling from the sky.
It was shared experience, one that made the idea of living with wildfire very real. For some, it may have been the first time climate change felt personal.
By the end of October, several feet of snow and a month of firefighting had the burn almost entirely contained. Evacuation orders were lifted, roads re-opened, and for those of us not working or living directly with the aftermath, the Mullen Fire was over. Two years passed, and where are we now?
Mullen Days attempts to answer this question. Using art, science, and other ways of knowing this community-centered event is a space to process, grieve, learn, and re-imagine what living with fire means. It it interdisciplinary, interactive, free, and open to the public. We hope to see you there.
Sadie Winter Studios, Tales at the Taphouse, The Collective, Laramie Public Art Coalition, Monteith Shop, Biodiversity Institute, 4th Street Studios - Science Loves Art, Glow Workwear, Barnyards and Backyards, Wyoming Conservation Corps and Coal Creek Taphouse.