April 2016 Forest Health Task Force Newsletter
April 2016 Newsletter

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Get Ready for the 2016 Forest Monitoring Season

The Forest Health Task Force meets next Wednesday, April 20th at Noon - 1:30 p.m
County Commons, Mount Royal Room

Our April 20th meeting will be an organizational event for the upcoming monitoring season. We expect most of last year’s monitors to return to monitor their plots this year.

What’s new?
  • The Buddy System: Whenever possible, we will group into teams of two. We are pairing citizen monitors with new volunteers. Or where volunteers have nearby plots, such as in Wildernest, we will ask volunteers to help each other.
  • Have More Fun: Our new approach should make the work more fun, improve accuracy and efficiency, and increase motivation.
  • Find Some Weeds: But there is a catch…We will be asking volunteer teams to locate outbreaks of noxious weeds and invasive species in their monitoring areas and report these findings.
  • Solve A Mystery: We will create a new historical forest conditions group. Initially, the group will locate specific points representative of current forest conditions, then perform historical and on-site comparative research ranging 30, 50 and 100 years ago. This activity is perfect for those who enjoy solving a good mystery.
Forester Shelby Limberis will talk about options for incorporating our data with the U.S. Forest Service database, which should allow us to supplement ongoing USFS forest monitoring in Summit County. Our work is all about gathering quality, citizen-generated monitoring data which is useful to the U.S. Forest Service.

Current forest monitoring volunteers: Please attend, if at all possible.

Apr4Join us next Wednesday at noon. Lunch will be served. 
REMINDER! Future Meetings:

Wed, May 18, Noon, County Commons, Mt. Royal Rm
Tues, June 14, Noon, County Commons, Mt. Royal Rm
Tues, July 19, Noon, County Commons, Mt. Royal Rm
Tues, Aug 16, Noon, County Commons, Mt. Royal Rm
Forest Monitoring

Forest Health Highlights by State

National Forest Health Monitoring Program  (USFS, 2016)

The USDA Forest Service, Forest Health Monitoring (FHM) is a national program designed to determine the status, changes, and trends in indicators of forest condition on an annual basis. The FHM program uses data from ground plots and surveys, aerial surveys, and other biotic and abiotic data sources and develops analytical approaches to address forest health issues that affect the sustainability of forest ecosystems.... READ MORE

Beyond Reforestation

Around the World

Beyond Reforestation Presentation: Valuing Forest Ecosystem Services

(This Presentation was delivered at the 3rd Asia Pacific Forestry Week 2016)

Around the world, NGOs and other groups work together to preserve ecosystems and create sustainable forests.

Looking Ahead


How Does Forest Management Lead to Healthy Forests? (CSFS)
Forest management can fulfill an important role in how we help shape Colorado’s future forests. Where lands allow for active management to occur, we can enhance forest resilience to fire, insects and diseases. Forest management also will continue to provide much-needed wood products and help diversify local economies. When we maintain... READ MORE
Wildfire Outlook


Severe fires turning forest to shrubland in California (Phys.org, April 2016)

Large tracts of forest in California are being destroyed by severe fires and some may struggle to recover, instead being replaced by dense shrubland, according to researchers. A new study found that large, intense burns brought on by , drought and other factors may result in historically forested areas of the state changing to shrubland. The shrubs are adept at growing after burns and can keep a hold on these large areas long term, even permanently.... READ MORE
Forest technology


Portable Laser System for Forest Structure

Understanding of the relationship between forest structure and function has been limited by our ability to measure structure. Most existing techniques for measuring the shape of the forest either cannot be used over a large area because they are very labor intensive or are not available to most scientists because they are very expensive. Therefore, the forest ecology lab set out to develop a new system that could rapidly generate structure measurements over ecologically meaningful spatial scales at a reasonable cost. Read More

Forest measurement technology is coming along, but this still seems a bit cumbersome. Maybe someday a smaller version could work for us?

Who Would Have Thought?


Climate Change Is Moving the North Pole

Finding the North Pole means traveling north, right? Yes, but with a slight caveat: Earth's northern pole is drifting rapidly eastward, and it looks like climate change is to blame. The discovery may have major implications for studies of ice loss and drought, potentially improving our ability to predict such changes in the future....Scientists might similarly be able to track how fast specific areas have dried out from drought. The end result could be more accurate predictions of changes in... READ FULL ARTICLE
Mark Your Calendars for 2016 Monitoring Training

May 14 & May 18

The Forest Health Task Force 2016 Volunteer Monitor Training Sessions

Saturday, May 14th from 10am-Noon, Wildernest (Location TBD)
Wednesday, May 18th from 6-8pm, Frisco (Location TBD)

Please RSVP to join us in one of our upcoming volunteer training sessions so you can be one of our citizen volunteers who gathers real, useful information to create a more viable Colorado forest ecosystem. See last year's forest monitoring data report and read about the impacts our volunteers are making.


Events & Info


NEXT FHTF Monthly Meeting
Wednesday, April 20, Noon
Mount Royal Room, County Commons in Frisco (37 Peak One Dr.)

2016 Collaborative Restoration Workshop
Sign up by March 15
April 26-27
Denver, CO

Western State Colorado University
The New Normal 
- Adaptive Forest Management in a Changing World
Gunnison, CO
May 12-14

Colorado Water Congress Annual Convention INFO
August 24-26
Denver, CO

Summit County Wildfire Mitigation Grants
Check this website in early spring of 2016 for information on the 2016 Wildfire Grant program.

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