February 2018 Newsletter

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Exploring Forest Resiliency Perspectives

Forest Health Task Force Monthly Meeting
Wednesday February 21st at Noon
 
Increasing wildfire activity, combined with changing climates threaten to overcome our forests across the western US. Climate over the last 30 years has contributed to declining patterns of regeneration and regeneration failures, even over a relatively short time period. As such, we, as managers and scientists must consider alternatives to long-held management practices in post-fire landscapes and facilitate ecosystem resilience. 

Our featured speaker at this month's meeting is Dr. Camille Stevens-Rumann from Colorado State University's Warner College of Natural Resources. Her research focuses on post-disturbance recovery. Focusing on challenges facing disturbed lands, her research is both basic in understanding species and ecosystem responses to disturbances, and applied for improving future ecosystem management. She uses multiple techniques including observational field surveys, geospatial analyses, and experimental approaches. She will be discussing her latest publication -- Evidence for declining forest resilience to wildfires under climate change -- with a powerpoint presentation and question-answer period following.

Come join us February 21st from Noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Mt. Royal Room at the County Commons south of Frisco.
Please RSVP to Howard if you can attend or not: future1946@yahoo.com
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REMINDER! Future FHTF Meetings, 12-1:30

Wed, March 21, County Commons, Mt. Royal Room
Wed, April 18, County Commons, Mt. Royal Room
Wed, May 16, County Commons, Mt. Royal Room
Wed, June 20, County Commons, Mt. Royal Room
Wed, July 18, County Commons, Mt. Royal Room

 
Forest Resiliency
 
ForestResiliency-SDN-012118-2-2

 

Resilient lodgepole may help Summit forests recover from pine beetle (SDN, Jan 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 MORE

Fires = Mudslides

california-mudslide-

Montecito, CA

Why California's mudslides are so devastating (CNN.com, January 2018)

Southern Californians can't get a break from nature. First, wildfires scorched a massive area northwest of Los Angeles. Now catastrophic mudslides have swallowed homes and killed at least 15 people. But a variety of unique factors have made this latest destruction especially calamitous.

Wildfires just torched the area
Last month the sprawling Thomas Fire destroyed more than 282,000 acres -- the equivalent of more than Dallas and Miami combined. That means vegetation that would normally.... Given the circumstances, it takes hardly any rain to produce a mudslide.... READ ARTICLE

After the fires
 
EagleCreek

Eagle Creek 
Columbia River Gorge

Conservation Groups Raise Gorge Salvage Logging Concerns (OPB.org, Sept 2017)

As the smoke settles, people are asking how to heal the Northwest’s forests. What’s to be done with the blackened trees, spread across hillsides?

One sore spot for people is the Columbia River Gorge. 

In an effort to help rehabilitate the land, U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., has introduced a bill that would expedite a controversial logging practice in the National Scenic Area: salvage logging.

The goal is... READ MORE

Water
 
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Glen Canyon Dam

Utah is headed into a water battle it can't win (HCN, January 2018)

While states along the Colorado River plan for future shortages, Utah is betting on a big new diversion of water stored behind Glen Canyon Dam. 

It’s called the Lake Powell Pipeline, and last month the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission accepted Utah’s licensing application to drain water from the reservoir. The federal agency’s acceptance triggers a new environmental analysis and public comment process for what would become the largest new diversion of the Colorado River. Costing billions of dollars, this would also be one of the state’s most expensive infrastructure projects.

Developers sell the pipeline as vital to.. READ MORE
Skiers!
 
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Citizen Science in
Pacific Northwest and
Alaska

Backcountry skiers on Thompson Pass measured the snowpack for scientists (AP, January 2018)

What about our dwindling water supply
 
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Clearing debris after the Fourmile Fire

It's not only trees -- wildfires imperil water too (HCN, December 2017)

The Fourmile Canyon Fire, sparked by a backyard burn west of Boulder, Colorado, in 2010, caused $220 million in damage and destroyed 168 homes. It also scorched nearly a quarter of a watershed that supplies water to the nearby community of Pine Brook Hills. The problems didn’t end there....

Now, new research suggests that such water-quality problems might become more frequent across the West. Climate change is already causing a surge in wildfire activity. As a result, scientists expect to see a rise in erosion in most of the region’s watersheds in the coming decades. Sediment and ash running off burned hillsides into streams can clog reservoirs, smother fish and disrupt municipal water supplies.

In many places, however, water managers and other officials are already taking steps to prepare for both wildfire and its long-term aftereffects.... Read article
Events & Info

NEXT FHTF Monthly Meeting
Wednesday, March 21, Noon-1:30
Mt. Royal Room, County Commons
Frisco (37 Peak One Dr.)

Community based Collaborative COnservation Workshop
CSU - Fort Collins
Feb 28-March 2

Southern Rockies Fire Science Network
Bridging the Divide: New 4-Part Video Series
About Southern Colorado's 2013 West Fork Fire Complex

FDRD: Volunteer Opportunities
Join FDRD for on-going volunteer activities
(Calendar)

Colorado State Forest Service Volunteer Opportunities
View opportunities here

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