Upper San Miguel Basin Forest Health Landscape Assessment

norwood canyon colorado
2017 Water Quality Monitoring
February 17, 2017

Upper San Miguel Basin Forest Health Landscape Assessment

Upper San Miguel Watershed

A Community Driven GIS Mapping Project

The Need…

Beetle kill, disease, wildfire, and climate change have the potential to significantly alter the nature of our forest landscape, sometimes rapidly. Whereas bark beetle/disease infestations and wildfires are ecologically important processes of natural disturbance, they can have a wide variety of negative implications for communities. Being aware of these processes and potential outcomes can help communities prepare for and mitigate impacts.

We Propose:

To create a scientifically informed community driven tool which will be used to inform the public and to guide regional land management decisions on both public and private lands. The Landscape Assessment GIS Mapping Project was developed by CSU and Rocky Mountain Research Station scientists to aid the USFS with their management decisions. They will work with us to modify the process down to a local scale providing a picture of current forest conditions, active and proposed treatments and model potential climate change impacts. Community stakeholders will work together to identify community values and locations on the landscape that are of concern.

Higher awareness of natural disturbances and potential changes in the forest landscape due to climate changes will help the community and public land managers make more informed ecologically based decisions of both action and non-action to preserve common values and increase resiliency to potential threats. In addition, stakeholder coordination and collaboration will more effectively guide larger scale management implementation if needed.

Current Stakeholders Include:

  • Regional arborists
  • Colorado Parks and Wildlife
  • Colorado State Forest Service
  • Landowners and HOAs
  • San Miguel County
    • Parks and Open Space
    • Natural Resources and Government Affairs
  • San Miguel County Sherriff’s Office and Emergency Management
    • Sheep Mountain Alliance
    • Telluride Foundation
    • Telluride Ski and Golf
    • Telluride Fire Protection District
    • Town of Mountain Village
    • Town of Ophir
    • Town of Telluride
    • United States Forest Service
    • West Region Wildfire Council

Project Team:

  • Aaron Kimple & Marcie Bidwell, Mountain Studies Institute
  • Elizabeth Stuffings, San Miguel Watershed Coalition
  • Jason Sibold, CSU

Click here to read the article by the Watch: Forest Health Assessment Underway

Click here to donate and help us continue this important work.

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