Forest Health

Spruce Beetle and Aspen Decline Management Response

The Spruce Beetle Epidemic and Aspen Decline Management Response (SBEADMR) team strives to understand what effect management styles have upon land affected by spruce beetles. Colorado Forest Restoration Institute supports the USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station and the Sibold Biogeography Lab at CSU in producing science-based information that aids the Grand Mesa, Uncompaghre, and Gunnison National Forests in implementing adaptive management strategies in beetle impacted spruce-fir forests. Specifically, SBEADMR is designed to allow a more nimble adaptive management response to rapidly changing forest conditions associated with insect and disease outbreaks. The goals of this project are to gain a better understanding of spruce and aspen regeneration dynamics following disturbances such as spruce beetle outbreaks, aspen decline, harvesting, and wildfire. 

For more information, visit the SBEADMR website.

Upper San Miguel Basin Forest Health Landscape Assessment

In 2017, a regional stakeholder group, which included local governments, federal and state agencies, business and industry, community organizations, HOAs, and Colorado State University, convened to develop a forest landscape assessment using a geographic information systems (GIS) optimization process. The group worked to identify existing and planned forest-related projects, critical infrastructure and community values for the landscape. The results informed a GIS mapping project that identified current and projected forest conditions, ongoing disturbances, and fire risk. These Forest in Flux story maps were developed as a tool to help inform future land use decisions and forest health projects in our regional landscape. The maps are intended for landscape-scale information purposes. For site-specific wildfire assessments on private land visit the West Region Wildfire Council's Wildfire Risk Assessment site.

  • Project Team
    Mountain Studies Institute, Colorado State University, San Miguel Watershed Coalition, San Miguel County
  • Funding Partners
    San Miguel County, Town of Telluride, Town of Mountain Village, Telluride Ski & Golf Company, Mountain Village Owners Association
  • In-Kind Project Assistance
    Colorado State University, San Miguel County, United States Forest Service, Colorado State Forest Service, West Region Wildfire Council

For the project need, scope and budget, and stakeholder meeting summaries, read this Project Summary (PDF).

If you are interested in learning more or participating in future forest health efforts, please contact the San Miguel Watershed Coalition.

2019 Forest Health Assessment from Doctor Jason Siebold

Dr. Jason Sibold has been monitoring and pondering the forest ecology of the Upper San Miguel River Watershed for a decade. San Miguel County and the Town of Telluride are supporting his work. Watch Dr. Sibold's 35-minute 2019 update presentation to learn more about the forests and climate of our upper watershed.