As we head into spring with below-average precipitation and above-average temperatures, community concerns around forest health are growing, and land managers may be faced with significant challenges including wildfire, prescribed fire, insect infestation, diminished water quality and smoke. To address community concerns, foster understanding, and promote innovative collaboration between local land managers, MSI and partners will offer a three-part learning series. Over three nights, we will cover local forest health, current conditions and the local managers who address them, and the changes that will shape our future forests.
March 21: Forest Health 101: Forests, Fire, and Smoke
The series will kick off with a presentation and short film on the foundational concepts and ecology of forest health in Southwest Colorado. With an introduction to key terms and players in hand, a visiting expert will delve into her research on the science, impacts, and management of smoke and fire.
- Julie Korb, Biology Professor, Fort Lewis College
- Kelley Barsanti, Chemical and Environmental Engineering Professor, UC Riverside: Smoke in the Air_CO_2018_Barsanti
April 4: The Who’s Who of Forests and Fire
This second night will focus on the current conditions of our forests, from drought to insect infestation, and how they impact the risk of fire. This assessment of current conditions will lead to a broader dialogue about fire on the landscape, both prescribed and wild, from people making the decisions about how both should be handled.
Introductory lecture by Matt Tuten, San Juan National Forest: MattTuten_PowerhouseScienceTalk_20180404
& Aaron Kimple, Mountain Studies Institute
Panel of local experts:
- Charlie Landsman, FireWise
- Jimbo Buickerood, San Juan Citizens Alliance
- Butch Knowlton, La Plata County Emergency Management
- Kent Grant, Colorado State Forest Service
- Matt Janowiak, San Juan National Forest
April 18: Future Forest Changes and Challenges
To close the series, we will direct the conversation to the future of our forests and the innovative ways we hope to adapt to known and unknown changes. We hope this panel will touch on new collaborative management strategies, shifting forest ecologies, insect infestations, and economic opportunities that may improve the future of our forests.
Introductory lecture by Jim Worrall, US Forest Service, on how this year relates to future climate projections for our forests, and how managers may react or adapt to that future.
Panel of local experts:
- Kara Chadwick, San Juan National Forest Supervisor
- JR Ford, Forest Health Company Owner
- Jimbo Buickerood, San Juan Citizens Alliance Lands and Forest Protection Program Manager
- Dan West, Colorado State Forest Service Entomology Program Specialist
- Amy Lockner, US Forest Service Entomologist,
- Jim Worrall, US Forest Service Gunnison Service Center Leader
Thank you to our supporters from the Colorado State Forest Service, FireWise, and Powerhouse Science Center, San Juan Citizens Alliance, United States Forest Service, and Mountain Studies Institute.