Summit County: Expert panel eyes future forest health

June 30 meeting will address emerging impacts to Colorado’s mountain forests

What will our future forests look like? A panel of experts will discuss the question at the June 30 Summit County Forest Health Task Force luncheon.

SUMMIT COUNTY — This week’s luncheon meeting (June 30) of the Summit County Forest Health Task Force will focus on how to optimize future forest conditions with the limited resources available to land managers.

A panel of forest experts and ecologists will discuss what kind of forest management practices are under discussion to address emerging human and climate impacts on high-altitude forests in Colorado.

The meeting is from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Spencer’s Restaurant at the Beaver Run Conference Center in Breckenridge. The buffet lunch costs $11 per person. Confirm attendance with Howard Hallman via email at

Panelists include Megan Kram, coordinator with Southern Rockies Fire Science Network. The network covers Colorado and south central Wyoming and facilitates collaboration between science practitioners and communities of science information users. Kram also is public lands manager for The Nature Conservancy, where she works on forest restoration, energy, and international land protection opportunities.

Kristin Pelz, a graduate research and teaching assistant with the department of forest and rangeland stewardship at Colorado State University, is researching the effects of mountain pine beetle infestation on tree species and size structure and 20-30 years after an outbreak. Kram, a  PhD candidate at CSU, discussed possible impacts of beetle kill fuel loadings on post-fire tree regeneration and water supply at the recent Western Water Assessment’s Beetles, Water and Climate symposium in Boulder

Claudia Regan, a regional vegetation ecologist with the U.S. Forest Service, specializes in monitoring in the context of collaborative landscape restoration, developing tools and approaches for evaluating wildlife habitat in subalpine forests, climate change vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning, and projecting and interpreting future forest conditions in post-beetle lodgepole pine forests. Regan holds a BS and MS in Forest Sciences from Southern Illinois University and a PhD in Ecology from Colorado State University.


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