January, 2011

Opening comments & announcements
Moderator Brad Piehl opened the meeting with an invitation for participants to identify themselves.

FHTF President Howard Hallman spoke about the genesis, purpose and history of the task force.

Sally Edwards announced that Xcel has provided the US Forest Service a map identifying transmission lines along with an overlay of WUI boundaries.

Summit County Commissioner Karn Stiegelmeier reported that the county has $500,000 available to private landowners for wildfire mitigation projects on a matching fund basis. Details: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  

Bark Beetle Incident Status Report
Our featured speaker was White River National Forest (WRNF) supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams. In giving an overview of of the state of the forest, he spoke about last year’s achievements as well as plans for 2011. The WRNF contains about 2.5 million acres located in the central and northern mountains of Colorado where most lodgepole pine (LPP) has been affected by the mountain pine beetle as well as post-infestation opportunistic pathogens. Highlights:
The WRNF has developed a Bark Beetle Strategic Plan.
In addition to LPP, lower elevation ponderosa pine is at risk of beetle infestation, especially along the Front Range.
We haven’t yet seen much wind-throw, a condition that will have significant impact on forest access and safety for years to come.
Hazard tree removal from campgrounds, roads and trails remains a priority.
Values at risk: trails, roads, recreation sites, power and utility corridors, ski areas, the Wildland-Urban Interface.*215,000 acres of LPP forest have been or are likely to be infested in the WRNF.
The USFS-Denver Water Forest to Faucet partnership plans to treat 2000 acres in the Blue River watershed, including the Breckenridge and Ophir Mountain stewardship projects
Budget constraints will impact remediation plans for 2011 and beyond. Estimated need in USFS region 2 for FY 2012-2016 is $924 million. The reprogramming of unutilized funds (carryover money) to bark beetle mitigation projects is expected to decline from 2010.
The USFS expects to treat 10,700 acres of WUI land in the WRNF this year.
Wildfire modeling is an important tool to prioritize treatment areas. Wildfire models will take into consideration new fire regimes due to all the dead and downed trees.
Fire use as well as controlled burning will be part of the equation for promoting a more resilient future forest.
Invasive weed control, a critical step following treatments, will receive funding
A powerpoint presentation by Scott Fitzwilliams will be available on our website: www.foresthealthtaskforce.org .
Union Pacific Railhead Initiative
Kremmling mayor Tom Clark reported that the town has scheduled a meeting with representatives from Union Pacific this month to discuss rail access for logs and wood products at a proposed railhead near town. Details: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  

More than 40 people attended the meeting; those who signed in included:
Dennis Anderson                              Jeremiah Johnson Log Cabins
Jerry Andrew                                   Colorado Mountain College-Leadville
Bob Berwyn                                      Summit County Citizens Voice
Sandy Briggs (scribe)                      Forest Health Task Force
Charise Buckley                               Beetle Kill Blues
Thomas Clark                                   Town of Kremmling/CBBC
Jan Cutts                                           Dillon Ranger District-USFS
Sally Edwards                                   Xcel Energy
Scott FitzWilliams                            White River National Forest-USFS
Joe Foreman                                     Dillon Ranger District-USFS
Cary Green                                       White River National Forest-USFS
Howard Hallman                              President: The Greenlands Reserve/Forest Health Task Force
Jon Harrington                                Alpine Earth Center
Kent Hester                                      Hester’s Log & Lumber
Sam Kirk                                           Friends of the Lower Blue River/Pebble Creek Ranch
Janice Kurbjun                                 Summit Daily News
Sue LeClair                                       Keystone Resort
Mike McHugh                                  Aurora Water
Frank Papandrea                             Keystone Resort
Daymon Pascual                              Suspension Enterprises
Stefan Petersen                               Town of Winter Park
Brad Piehl (moderator)                  JW Associates
Randy Piper                                     GreenWay LLC
David Roth                                       Copper Mountain Resort
Gary Shimanowitz                          Breckenridge Ski Resort
Sarah Slaton                                     Friends of the Dillon Ranger District
Swan Solie                                        recareas.com
Carl Spaulding                                 Renewable Fiber/Colorado Timber Industry Assn
Susan Spencer                                 Frisco resident
Karn Stiegelemeier                         Board of County Commissioners-Summit County
Steve Swanson                                Blue River Watershed Group
John Taylor                                      Eagles Nest Property Homeowners Association
Bruce Ward                                      Choose Outdoors
Shirley Willis                                    Forest Health Task Force Community participant