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Colorado State Forest Service’s entomologist explains what bugs are threatening Summit County’s forests

April 17, 2019 (SDN, Deepan Dutta)

The snow’s melting, the trees are shaking off a wet and wild winter and the pollen is starting to drift into the air. Spring is here, and returning with it to our forests are creatures great and small.

Among them are the tiny little bugs that have collectively ravaged Colorado forests, and they took center stage as one of the bigger threats to Colorado forests during the monthly Forest Health Task Force meeting on Wednesday in Frisco.

Dan West, Ph.D., was the featured speaker this month. West is the lead entomologist for the Colorado State Forest Service, and he knows his bugs. West’s presentation offere


Mountain Pine Beetle in Colorado: A Story of Changing Forests

The recent MPB outbreak in Colorado has affected numerous ecosystem services provided by forests. We are only beginning to understand how this large-scale MPB epidemic has changed and continues to influence biological, physical, and societal facets of our forests. Recent and continuing research is moving toward a better understanding of how ecosystem services are being affected and continue telling the story of MPB in Colorado.

The Colorado Mountains are among the most beautiful parts of the country where millions visit and recreate. But over the past two decades, expanses of once green mountains became reddish-orange and gray as dead trees shed their needles. From the late...READ COMPLETE ARTICLE

May 16, 2018 Meeting Overview

At our recent meeting, we shared the following Ted Talk by Paul Hessburg. In it, he discusses the current wildfire dilemma we're in. 



Climate change is hurting forest regeneration in the Rockies. In some places, forests aren’t coming back at all.

Forests are pretty resilient. They can regrow in the wake of wildfires and insect infestations, sometimes even stronger and denser. However, rising temperatures and larger wildfires are heavily testing that resiliency. For Colorado, it may mean that forests will look very different in the future. In particularly hot and dry areas, forests may not come back at all.

A presentation given at the bimonthly Forest Health Task Force meeting on Feb. 21, in Frisco, offered sobering statistics about... READ MORE

Three giant forest fires raged in Colorado 15 years ago this week. What did we learn from them?

Fifteen years ago this past Sunday, I went sightseeing, as did Colorado’s governor. We both returned home deeply impressed, maybe even spooked.

From Denver, I had driven to Camp Hale, between Vail and Leadville, then hiked up Resolution Mountain. It stands 11,905 feet, modest by Colorado standards but high enough to get a commanding view of the landscape south and west. My companion, Cathy, remembers being unsettled by the type of clouds we could see from the summit....



As climate change worsens, trees may be the key to saving our future

Climate change is a real thing. Anyone living in Summit County for the past 20 years can see what it's done to the forests around here, both through drought and pine beetles exploiting unhealthy trees. Beyond Summit, the evidence is even more abundant and there is strong evidence that the blame lies with humans.

Based on information gleaned from...READ COMPLETE ARTICLE

Summit County’s forests are overly dense — that could mean megafires in our future

Thanos, the antagonist in this year's major blockbuster, "Avengers: Infinity War," sets out to restore "balance" to the universe by attempting to wipe out half of all life. While federal and state forest services should never be confused with a genocidal maniac from a comic book, nor intend to wipe out half of all the trees, they still work toward bringing a certain balance to Colorado's forests, a balance lost since the United States started treating any forest fire — even small ones — as a threat.


Volunteers are needed this summer to help protect and maintain Summit County’s forests

As spring arrives and the great thaw begins, Summit's Forest Health Task Force is calling for residents to come out of their burrows and volunteer for forestry projects this summer.

Much of the work to maintain and nurture Summit's forests falls on volunteers with passion and commitment. For that reason, volunteerism was the main topic of discussion at the task force's monthly meeting on Wednesday. Most of the volunteer opportunities are...



Resilient lodgepole may help Summit forests recover from pine beetle

SDN January 20, 2018, by Deepan Dutta

Fire, disease, logging — these are mortal enemies to most trees. Yet the lodgepole pine seems to thrive after disaster, and that is a bit of good news for Summit forests devastated by the mountain pine beetle.

Matt Schiltz, a forester with the Colorado State Forest Service, gave a presentation Tuesday to the Forest Health Task Force about the lodgepole's resiliency. The task force is a collaborative program that brings together various forest-related government agencies and nonprofits to promote and educate about forest health.

Schiltz, who works out of the CSFS Granby field office, demonstrated... READ FULL ARTICLE

Rare Colorado Trout Rescued During Wildfire

A rescue mission performed during a raging wildfire last year may have saved a rare Colorado trout.

The first batch of semen and eggs have been harvested from 158 unique cutthroat trout that now thrive the Roaring Judy Hatchery in Gunnison.