The Future Forest

FHTF Vision
A sustainable high country forest ecosystem providing ecological diversity, clean water, valuable habitat, abundant recreation opportunities, and quality of life while supporting a healthy economy and vibrant communities without depletion of natural character and beauty.

FHTF Mission
• Educate on forest health and wildfire issues
• Promote cooperation between diverse stakeholder groups
• Collaborate on policy goals and projects with other stakeholders
• Increase citizen involvement
• Engage in forest restoration projects
• Monitor long-term forest conditions
• Study impacts of changing climate and social conditions
• Encourage appropriately-sized wood utilization projects
• Implement science-based cost-effective forest management practices allowing regeneration of a naturally diverse forest land ecosystem

Forest Health Stakeholders
All parties impacted by or impacting forest lands in Summit County

FHTF Activities
• Over 200 public meetings over a 10-year period
• Website,, relevant news updates
• Monthly newsletter

• SCVFMP- Summit County Volunteer Forest Monitoring Project
• Researching Summit County historical forest and geological conditions
• Blue River Watershed Source Water Protection Plan
• Model to predict Economic Availability of Woody Biomass
• Straight Creek and Peak 7 forest restoration projects
• Long-term forest restoration monitoring projects in partnership with FDRD

Great efforts are being taken to create a healthy forest for the future. Here are just a few examples of what's happening locally.

Putting Fire back into the forest

By Jon Stavney, NW COG

Link to this article

Putting Fire back into the forest

By Jon Stavney, NW COG

Link to this article

Celebrate Camp Hale, Past & Future

On Saturday, January 21, the public will have a unique opportunity to learn about the past, present and future of Colorado’s famed Camp Hale, the home and training ground for World War II’s legendary 10th Mountain Division mountain troopers.



Senator Udall letter to Secretary Vilsack

The following letter from Senator Udall to Secretary Vilsack focuses on bark beetles but highlights the Senator's current area of interest with regard to forests:

November 15, 2010

Dear Secretary Vilsack:
As you know, we have been experiencing an unprecedented insect epidemic in the forests of Colorado and Wyoming. The vast scale of tree mortality brought on by the mountain pine beetle has affected over 3.5 million acres of National Forest Service land in Colorado and Wyoming over the past decade. When it finally runs its full course, it is estimated that the vast majority of mature lodgepole pine in these areas will have died.

Senator Udall letter to Secretary Vilsack (Read the full letter here)

The Economist: Seeing the Wood

Purveyors of water, consumers of carbon, treasure-houses of species, the world’s forests are ecological miracles. They must not be allowed to vanish, says James Astill

DAYBREAK is a heavenly time to look on the Amazonian canopy. From a Brazilian research tower high above it, a fuzzy grey sylvan view emerges from the thinning gloom, vastly undulating, more granular than a cloud. It is mind-bendingly beautiful. Chirruping and squawking, a few early risers—collared puffbirds, chestnut-rumped woodcreepers and the tautologous curve-billed scythebill—open up for the planet’s biggest avian choir.

 The Economist: Seeing the wood

Friends of the Dillon Ranger District place signs

SUMMIT COUNTY — Friends of the Dillon Ranger District placed signs, planted trees and picked up trash on Saturday along Swan Mountain Road. The volunteers later celebrated completing 50 such projects in 2009 with a picnic at Windy Point Pavilion. FDRD executive director Scott Fussell said about 600 volunteers were involved with this years projects, which included planting 700 to 800 trees and conducting 3 miles of trail maintenance. Read the complete article: Local volunteers plant trees, pick up trash on Public Lands Day

90 percent of Dillon's Marina Park trees lost to the pine-beetle

DILLON — With 90 percent of Dillon's Marina Park trees lost to the pine-beetle epidemic, the town is taking a serious look at how to be proactive instead of reactive. Instead of concentrating on spraying for insects and saving its pines, Dillon now wants to plan for a restoration effort by creating long-range goals. “It's a progression. It's a long, drawn out process,” said Rick Herwehe, the president of A Cut Above Forestry. His forest-management business took the helm in 2008 to create a tree care, restoration and reforestation plan for the town of Dillon, including ideas for landscaping, wildfire mitigation and general long-term forest health. “Let's be thoughtful and take our time on this.” Read the complete article: Dillon takes proactive approach in reforestation

Third graders help to restore forest

SUMMIT COUNTY — Out in the middle of a sun-baked field near the County Commons, a group of Frisco third graders is helping to restore a forest that has been under the gun. Mountain pine beetles hit the 10-acre Fiester Preserve a few years ago, and they hit it hard. What was once a cool, shady stand of lodgepole pines now looks a little like a bare-earth construction site. A few piles of wood chips is all that’s left of the once-dense grove of evergreens. Read the complete article: Frisco students restoring the land