14 September 2011

Thursday round table to address local forest restoration and monitoring

With thousands of acres in high elevation forest landscapes impacted by a now subsiding pine beetle epidemic, the Forest Health Task Force, Summit County's forest health citizen collaborative, is hosting a community roundtable on forest restoration and monitoring from noon to 1:30 p.m., Thursday at the Backcountry Brewery in Frisco.

Dr. Tony Cheng, director of the Colorado Forest Restoration Institute will lead a conversation about how best to enhance the capacities of local land managers, landowners, governments, and communities to mitigate forest wildfire risk and restore forest resilience.

Central to any forest restoration plan is 1) developing a consensus about desired future forest conditions and 2) establishing a monitoring program to assess the effectiveness of forest treatments so that forest management adapts to varying conditions and outcomes.

Cheng will also describe elements of the congressionally-established Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Plan, which seeks to encourage the collaborative, science-based ecosystem restoration of priority forest landscapes and includes activities designed to:

  • Encourage ecological, economic, and social sustainability;
  • Leverage local resources with national and private resources;
  • Facilitate the reduction of wildfire management costs, including through reestablishing natural fire regimes and reducing the risk of uncharacteristic wildfire;
  • Demonstrate the degree to which various ecological restoration techniques achieve ecological and watershed health objectives; and,
  • Encourage utilization of forest restoration byproducts to offset treatment costs, to benefit local rural economies, to and improve forest health.

Participants who would like to order lunch (on their own) are encouraged to arrive at 11:30 a.m., when complete menu service will be available. Since seating is limited, attendees are advised to contact Howard Hallman at future1946@yahoo.com to reserve a place at the roundtable.