Focused on High Elevation Forests in Colorado
The HCFC spans 9 counties in the Colorado high country covering more than 9.4 million acres. These high elevation forests have been changed by the recent mountain pine beetle and spruce beetle epidemics and provide many values to the local communities, Colorado and beyond. We seek to understand the ecological function of the high elevation forests, how they impact resilience, and to identify what actions make sense in high elevation forests to increase resilience. We will use advocacy, education, collaboration, and communication to achieve our goals. This document is a summary of the HCFC.
Annual Forest Collaboratives Summit
The 2016 Forest Collaboratives Summit held in October was very successful. The HCFC will be the convener of this annual event. The event is tentatively set for the Keystone Center in mid-October. This year's goal will be to bring in some other groups/funding to extent the summit to a 2-day event.
Quarterly meetings at strategic locations
Quarterly meetings are proposed for Aspen/Glenwood, Granby and Eagle/Gypsum for 2017. Other potential locations are Steamboat, Leadville and Frisco. The meetings will be moved around the HCFC area to engage local groups, encourage greater participation, and connect with local collaborative groups. These meetings will focus on local issues and actions. The local US Forest Service office will be encouraged to present project or plans that they have for high elevation forests.
Presentations by local groups, and the state and federal forest service will provide education, collaboration and communication. We will gather information on how local groups have accomplished greater resilience for their communities and high elevation forests.
Advocacy for high elevation forest issues
HCFC will advocate for appropriate funding, legislation and other resources across our 9-county area and all of Colorado. Issues that HCFC seeks to advocate will be derived through our understanding of high country forest challenges and opportunities. The hope would be to work with other forest collaboratives on joint advocacy.
Education, Collaboration, Communication
Education, collaboration and communication will be a critical part of the above actions. However, in addition, HCFC will work with agencies and researchers to define forest resilience and appropriate management activities to increase community resiliency. The HCFC will also advocate for actions to involve citizens in understanding how high elevation forest function, including; researching historic forest conditions, forest monitoring, and how to collaborate with agencies in forest management planning.