Year End 2010 Roundtable

Attendees

Sandy Briggs            Forest Health Task Force             
Tom Dwyer             Loggernauts                                  
Howard Hallman       The Greenlands Reserve                
Michael McHugh       Aurora Water                                
Naomi Marcus          Colorado State Forest Service                                            
Daymon Pascual       Suspension Enterprises                 
Brad Piehl               JW Associates                              
Carl Spaulding          Renewable Fiber/Colorado Timber Industry Assn              
Matt Sugar              Office of Sen. Mark Udall             
Emily Tracy              Summit Chamber                         
Bruce Ward             Choose Outdoors            
Rick Warren             Blue River Group-Sierra Club      
 
Southern Rocky Mountain Ecoregion Fire Science Consortium Webinar
Sandy Briggs led a discussion about a webinar hosted by the SREC on December 8, entitled, “Wildfire and bark beetle outbreaks in lodgepole pine forests: impacts, reciprocal interactions and surprises.”  Among the key findings:
• Following the 1988 Yellowstone fire, variability in LPP seedling establishment varied by five orders of magnitude (zero to 500,000 stems/ha);
• Severe fire consumed much less coarse wood than previously believed: unburned -84%, converted to charcoal-8%, completely consumed-8%;
• Post fire colonization by the aggressive invasive weed Canada thistle was neither widespread nor particularly successful;
• The presence of beetle-killed trees does not increase the likelihood or severity of wildfire under most circumstances;
• A study of tree species regenerating in predominantly LPP stands post beetle outbreak in SE Wyoming showed a predominance of subalpine fir, suggesting a potential shift of dominant species in these stands.
 
Access the webinar powerpoint presentation!

Facilitator: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it The Nature Conservancy 

In the ensuing discussion it was generally agreed by those present that climate and other variables are different in Yellowstone compared with our Colorado high country region, and findings from the Yellowstone fire are not necessarily applicable here. Another major difference is that our wildland-urban interface areas and critical watersheds and water storage may require a more proactive approach to wildfire prevention.

2011 Forest Health Funding Preview

Naomi Marcus described several opportunities for landowners to apply for federal and state funding, including a program from the National Resources Conservation Service designed to improve air quality. Application deadline: April  Colorado NRCS Home Page
2010 HB09-1199 Colorado Forest Restoration Pilot Grant Application (deadline: January 26)
Funding - Colorado State Forest Service - Colorado State University
Naomi Marcus,
Colorado State Forest Service, 970-491-7287 
 
General Discussion
 
Daymon Pascal spoke about the potential benefits of designating an area to explore different treatment protocols that would encourage tree species diversity. He believes his Skyline conveyor system could provide an efficient and low impact way to remove trees from locations unsuitable for motorized mechanical treatment.
 
Naomi Marcus commented that projects generated through community-based collaborative action do provide a significant competitive advantage in obtaining grant funds.
 
Carl Spalding explained that thinning LPP once they reach a height between 10 and 15 feet would produce healthier and more marketable trees, He added that the public needs to be comfortable with the type and scale of management needed.
 
The group then discussed the feasibility of a Blue River watershed forest treatment project that might include:
• Precommercial thinning
• Species and age diversity
• Silviculture prescriptions to create more LPP
• Education to create greater understanding about and support for appropriate   forest management actions (social license)
• Emphasis on water quality & quantity
 
Howard Hallman advised that we align future projects with the principles expressed in the Colorado Statewide Forest Resource Assessment developed by the Colorado State Forest Service. Forest Resource Assessment/Strategy - Colorado State Forest Service - Colorado State University.
 
Moving Forward in 2011
 
Brad Piehl suggested we consider changes in meeting scheduling and format, possibly holding larger meetings on a less frequent basis or some other variation on the current meeting schedule, i.e., luncheon or evening sessions to encourage greater participation.
 
Additional thoughts: 1) assign co-chairs to oversee meetings; 2) designate schedule of topics for entire year; 3) specify deliverables to be achieved during the course of the year; 4) encourage social and mainstream media contacts, agency spokespeople to help promote roundtable participation; 5) provide more opportunities to engage volunteers.