Summit County: Task force to provide overview and update of local forest health efforts

Learn more about local forest conditions this week with the Summit Forest Health Task Force.

Aug. 29 lunch meeting includes info on local logging and restoration

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Local forests appear to be starting a comeback from a decade-long pine beetle invasion that killed up to 75 percent of mature lodgepole pines in the area, says Howard Hallman, co-director of the Summit Forest Health Task Force, which has been tracking the course of the epidemic and working with stakeholders to spur mitigation and restoration efforts.

The task force is hosting a lunchtime roundtable this week (Aug. 29) to update the community on beetle-kill logging projects in the area, as well as on efforts to monitor the state of local forests in the wake of the insect outbreak. The meeting is at the Mt. Royal Room in the County Commons and includes pizza, salad and drinks.

Speakers include Cary Green,  timber management assistant for the east zone of the White River National Forest; Brad Piehl and Howard Hallman, Forest Health Task Force directors; Sloan Shoemaker and/orAbbie Cobb, representing the Colorado Bark Beetle Cooperative, and Carl Spaulding of the Colorado Timber Industry Association.

Green will report on the status of current and future forest health stewardship projects in Summit and Eagle Counties. Piehl and Hallman will give an update on the forest restoration and monitoring program for the Straight Creek watershed, the primary source of drinking water for the Town of Dillon and Dillon Valley.

Shoemaker or Cobb will discuss efforts by the Colorado Bark Beetle Cooperative to support the work of forest health collaboratives in Colorado, and Spaulding will give an update on on prospects for a sustainable forest products industry in Colorado.

Anyone planning to attend can RSVP to Sandy Briggs at ForestHealthTF@aol.com (970-389-0987).

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