Forest Congress current events in

Colorado

A roundtable designed to apply the results of the Seventh American Forest Congress to local forest issues in Colorado was held on May 5 & 6, 1997 in Frisco, CO.

Whereas the Colorado roundtable held in late 1995 contributed ideas for the vision and principles developed at the main Forest Congress gathering held in February 1996 in Washington, DC, this second roundtable identified priority issues related to Colorado's forests, five major actions to address these issues, and a beginning set of forest health and restoration principles. Both meetings were attended by a wide range of forest stakeholders, including state and federal resource managers, environmentalists, forest products industry representatives, educators, water resource managers and user groups, outdoor recreationalists, Native Americans, and academics.

The participants in the Frisco roundtable felt that forest health, human population impacts on forests, lack of forest industry, protection of wetlands and riparian areas, restoration of watersheds and enhanced water flows and supply, urbanization of wetlands, and education of public about forest restoration and forest management success are the critical issues facing Colorado's forests.

The five priority action items identified at the Frisco roundtable were:

  • Create partnerships between forests and people using new organizational principles and collaborative approaches.
  • Do several multi-ownership landscape scale forest health and restoration demonstration projects.
  • Sponsor state-wide economic analysis of natural resource opportunities. Identify potential niche markets, manufacturing partnerships, and value-added products.
  • Seek authority for stewardship contracts on federal lands.
  • Develop education programs emphasizing human connection to the land.

    The group felt that the health and restoration of Colorado's forests will require:

  • Long-term institutional commitment, monitoring, and maintenance
  • Evaluation and adjustment as learning occurs
  • Community (place and interest) participation to determine their biological, social, and economic needs
  • An open, informed process
  • More adaptable and flexible rules, policy, regulation, and implementation
  • Economic acceptability
  • Long-term, clear, multi-generational vision and commitment
  • All benefits and costs be considered
  • Effective communication
  • Determination of a healthy mix of uses as a component of healthy ecosystems
  • Promotion using the community-based stewardship model
  • Trust

    All interested citizens are invited to participate in the third Colorado forest roundtable, which is being planned for early 1998. A survey is available from the roundtable organizers (see below) for those who may be unable to attend the roundtable but wish to provide their input to the process.

    Contact: Joyce Berry, Environment and Natural Resources Policy Institute, Colorado State University, 133 Forestry, Ft. Collins, CO 80523, Phone: 970-491-5405, Fax: 970-491-6754, Email: jberry@cnr.colostate.edu


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