May 2016 Forest Health Task Force Newsletter
May 2016 Newsletter

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Get Ready for the 2016 Forest Monitoring Season

The Forest Health Task Force meets Wednesday, May 18th, Noon - 1:30 p.m
County Commons, Mount Royal Room

On May 18th, we will welcome Marcus Selig, National Forest Foundation (NFF) Colorado Programs Director, as our speaker. Mr. Selig will speak about NFF initiatives and forest grants currently underway in Summit County. Given his impressive background, Selig should be able to give some good insight on volunteer citizen monitoring programs in the western U.S.

Selig joined the National Forest Foundation staff in January 2013 as the Colorado Program Director. He has over 10 years of experience working with government agencies, the private sector, and non-profit organizations on forestry and environmental issues. Prior to joining NFF, Marcus managed Arizona forest programs for the Grand Canyon Trust, where he helped lead the Stakeholder Group of the Four Forest Restoration Initiative – a 2.4 million acre forest restoration project on northern Arizona’s National Forest – and helped develop various funding mechanisms to support forest restoration activities. Marcus also spent 3 years practicing environmental law in Washington, DC, where he primarily focused on climate change-related issues and the use of financial incentives for developing renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. Before attending law school, Marcus was a research scientist at Purdue University, where he studied natural forest regeneration, forest plantation establishment, and the effects of forest management on carbon sequestration. Marcus earned a Master's Degree in Forest Biology and Bachelor's Degree in Forest Resources Management from Virginia Tech, and a Juris Doctor from Indiana University School of Law.

Current forest monitoring volunteers: Please attend, if at all possible.
Apr4Join us next Wednesday at noon. Lunch will be served. 
REMINDER! Future Meetings:

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
Wed, Sept 21, Noon, County Commons, Mt. Royal Rm
Wed, Oct 19, Noon, County Commons, Mt. Royal Rm
Wed, Nov 16, Noon, County Commons, Mt. Royal Rm

Western Spruce Budworm

Oddly, Insect Outbreaks Reduce Wildfire Severity: The bugs kill trees but also reduce accumulated “fuel” (Scientific American, April 2016)

Insect outbreaks—increasingly responsible for creating post-apocalyptic swaths of forest in the West—do not add fuel to forest fires. In fact, a new study finds, they seem to do the opposite, in turn reducing the severity of forest blazes. Researchers from the University of Vermont and Oregon State University used spatial models and statistical analyses to map 81 fires as well as insect outbreaks over a 25-year period in Oregon and Washington state. Published in the journal Environmental Research Letters today, the study looked at both mountain pine beetle and western spruce budworm outbreaks and unpacked the interaction between insect activity and fire severity. “In context of climate change, you see....READ ARTICLE

Citizen Science


108-year-old message in a bottle oldest ever found  (Christian Science Monitor, April 2016)

...“He sailed from a port on the east coast of England and released bottles in batches,” Guy Baker, communications officer for the Association, explained in a phone interview with The Christian Science Monitor. Bidder made careful notes about when and where he released the bottles. Inside the bottles, a visible message instructed finders to break the bottle and an attached postcard pre-addressed to the Marine Biological association could be found inside....The reward for turning it in: one shilling to be mailed to the participant upon completion.... READ MORE

Looking Ahead


Fort McMurray
May 2016

We Need to Talk About Climate Change: Tragedies like the Fort McMurray fire make it more important, not less. (, May 2016)

Friday marks the fourth day of an intense firestorm in Canada’s boreal forest that has engulfed large parts of Fort McMurray, Alberta—a frontier town that serves as the base for the province’s oil sands region....

Beyond all of the political reasons why climate change has become such a charged topic, the social science hints at why truly accepting the threat of climate change is so difficult for so many people: Doing so means accepting that our current way of life, our means of survival, even, are potentially untenable. Accepting climate science can mean accepting that our means of supporting ourselves are impossible. In other words, accepting climate science can threaten our very identities. It is understandable that people would react with fear, anger, and, yes, even vitriol. That does not mean, however, that climate change is not happening, and we should not take it seriously. It simply means the path forward will often require intense personal sacrifice. That is no small thing... READ MORE
Wildfire Outlook

Here’s Where The 2016 Wildfire Season Risk Is The Highest (Huffington Post, May 2, 2016) After the most destructive wildfire season ever in 2015, parts of the U.S. face elevated danger again this year.

Sorry, “Game of Thrones” fans, winter is only imminent in Westeros. In the U.S., summer approaches — with the threat of wildfires. The National Interagency Fire Center, in a report released Sunday, predicted conditions from May through August will put much of the West, Southwest, Hawaii and Alaska in above-normal wildfire danger. South-Central states and Puerto Rico should expect below-normal fire danger, the center said. Colorado, however, after a series of volatile fire seasons, may see... READ MORE

Forest Volunteer
of the Year


CSU alum named Volunteer of the Year by State Forest Service

Fort Collins resident and Colorado State University alum Jeff Stark has been named 2015 “Volunteer of the Year” by the Colorado State Forest Service, which lauded him for remarkable efforts in forestry outreach and service. The award is bestowed to one CSFS volunteer in the state each year for contributing.... Stark gives back locally in more ways than one – he also volunteers at the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program, where he leads the cage construction and repairs for the birds in rehabilitation.  Read More

Changing Climate


Not just in
your backyard

Water and Climate Change (The Huffington Post, April 27, 2016)
Representatives of the more than 150 countries meeting in New York on April 22 for the symbolic signing of the Paris Agreement on climate change can justly celebrate a historic moment. Phasing out global greenhouse gas emissions this century and holding global average warming to “well-below” 2°C signal an epochal shift, most obviously towards renewable energy. And as the possibility grows that the agreement will come legally into force before the initial target date of 2020[1], a new opportunity is emerging. We can harness the power of Paris—notably the impetus it gives to climate change adaptation—to help tackle a related challenge: the water crisis.

Water is one of the chief ways we will experience the more frequent and dangerous extremes of climate change—through heavier downpours and resulting floods, and longer-lasting droughts and heat waves. Yet even before... 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)

Forest Service protocol requires that volunteers attend an annual training session. If you have not yet responded, please RSVP to join us in one of our upcoming 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, May 18, Noon
Mount Royal Room, County Commons in Frisco (37 Peak One Dr.)

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

FDRD Season Kick Off Party
Tuesday, May 31, 6-9pm
Silverthorne Pavillion

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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