May 2017 Newsletter

Forest Health Task Force   |   Greenlands Reserve   |  Donate Now

Volunteer Training
Session 2

The Forest Health Task Force meets this Wednesday, May 17, Noon - 1:30 p.m
County Commons, Buffalo Mountain Room (NOTE Room Change)

The focus of this month's meeting is once again our Volunteer Forest Monitoring Program. Deputy District Ranger Adam Bianchi is our featured presenter. We are also hoping Cary Green and Shelby Limberis are available to participate. We will discuss specific program changes that will make our work more relevant to U.S. Forest Service needs. Adam will explain what data the Forest Service hopes will be collected, where and why. He will suggest revisions to our data collection and recording protocols that can make our job easier and our data more valuable.

We will then organize into monitoring teams and assign plots. Time permitting, Forest Service staff will provide training on topics such as how to measure slope and ground cover.

Please attend if at all possible. The meeting counts toward volunteer training requirements.

See you Wednesday, May 17 at noon. Lunch will be served.041917FHTFMeetingPhotos 011
REMINDER! Future FHTF Meetings, 12-1:30:

Wed, June 21, County Commons, Buffalo Mt. Rm
Wed, July 19, County Commons, Mt. Royal Rm
Wed, August 16, County Commons, Mt. Royal Rm
Wed, September 20, County Commons, Mt. Royal Rm
Wed, October 18, County Commons, Mt. Royal Rm
Wild Fires

2017 Colorado Predictions
Colorado wildfire forecast for 2017 suggests another average year at worst (The Denver Post, April 2017)

Colorado officials predicted an average or better wildfire season in 2017, but they cautioned against complacency despite no heightened warnings this year.
“You can never predict the weather. But I do think Colorado is prepared,” said Gov. John Hickenlooper on Friday as he presented the state’s annual wildfire outlook.... GO TO STORY

US Forest Service
USFS and BLM have stepped up their prescribed and managed fire programs

Creating fire-adapted communities: It takes a village (Durango Herald, April 2017)

This June marks the 15th anniversary of the Missionary Ridge and Valley fires and the fifth anniversary of the Weber and West Fork fires. Combined, these fires burned almost 200,000 acres.

Each fire affected residents differently. Many people were evacuated because of the Missionary Ridge and Valley fires, often for a week or more, and some more than once. More than 50 structures were lost as well as one firefighter’s life. The high fire danger...Read more
Longterm Fire Impact on Conifer Forests


Scientists examine impact of high-severity fires on conifer forests (, April 2017)

The ability of some Western conifer forests to recover after severe fire may become increasingly limited as the climate continues to warm, scientists from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) and Harvard Forest found in a new study published today in Global Change Biology. Although most of these cone-bearing evergreen trees are well adapted to fire, the study examines whether two likely facets of climate change -- hotter, drier conditions and larger, more frequent and severe wildfires -- could potentially transform landscapes from forested to shrub-dominated systems. As part of the study, READ MORE about the study

Basalt Mountain Fire
Putting fire back into the forest, starting in Aspen
(NW COG, Jon Stavney
, May 2017)

The High Country Forest Collaborative (a re-envisioned version of the successful Colorado Bark Beetle Collaborative) met in Carbondale at the Fire Protection District on April 28th. The wider mission of the group is "community forest resilience." One key topic for forest health is reversing the suppression focused approach to wildfire which has altered the natural burn intervals of forest ecosystems, and made the forest less healthy. The upshot of decades of active fire suppression has been hotter, more dangerous fires, and increased risk to mountain communities. LINK to ARTICLE
Paris Agreement Future
planet b

Trump aides set to air differences over Paris climate deal  (, April 2017)

President Donald Trump's top advisers plan to meet on Thursday to discuss withdrawing the United States from the Paris climate accord, a point of contention in the West Wing that Trump has vowed to resolve by the end of next month. A final decision is not expected to come from Thursday's session, which Trump himself is not expected to attend. But the arguments for and against pulling out of the landmark carbon reduction deal have now been... Read more

Public Lands' Under Attack

public lands

Trump Executive Order Could Roll Back Public Lands Protections From 3 Presidents  (, April 2017)

In a move that could allow him to roll back the protection of lands designated by Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, Trump signed an executive order Wednesday that reviews enforcement of the law that gives him power to designate lands as national monuments. U.S. President Donald Trump speaks before signing an executive order to review the Antiquities Act at the U.S. Department of the Interior on April 26, 2017, in Washington, DC. The order, which Trump signed at the Interior Department, could lead to... Read Full Article

Citizen Science

What Citizen Science can say about seabird deaths (High Country News, May 2017)

Coleman Byrnes leads our small team of four through the rainforest of Olympic National Park in Washington State. Where the trail turns muddy, we find a drier alternate route above a border of sword ferns and take special care crossing the slippery boardwalks and prostrate logs. The late-morning sun filters through the canopy, melting some patches of ice and leaving others to crunch under our boots. The forest answers back with the trilling staccato of a tiny Pacific wren. READ MORE
Events & Info


NEXT FHTF Monthly Meeting
Wednesday, June 21, Noon-1:30
Buffalo Mtn Room, County Commons in Frisco (37 Peak One Dr.)

Colorado Water Congress - Summer Conference
August 22-25
Vail, CO
More Info

FDRD: Volunteer Opportunities
Join FDRD for on-going volunteer activities

2017 Summer Chipping Program

Colorado State Forest Service Volunteer Opportunities

View opportunities here

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