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h_agr_2018a_2018-02-07t11:08:57z0 Hearing Summary




PUBLIC
BILL SUMMARY For ANNUAL REPORT ON THE HEALTH OF COLORADO FORESTS

JOINT COMMITTEE COMMITTEE ON JOINT AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES
Date Feb 7, 2018      
Location RM 271



Annual Report on the Health of Colorado Forests - Committee Discussion Only


11:14:19 AM  
Mike Lester, State Forester, Colorado State
Forest Service, discussed the 2017 Report on the the Health of Colorado's
Forests [Attachment A].  A copy of Mr. Lester's presentation is attached
[Attachment B].  He identified areas of Colorado impacted by the Spruce
Bud Worm and identified factors that lead to its spread.  He also
identified other insects affecting Colorado's forest and discussed measure
to mitigate these impacts.  He identified potential uses for trees
impacted by insects including lumber, biochar, and other uses.

11:22:25 AM  

Mr. Lester identified lumber mills in Colorado and discussed efforts to promote a commercial timber industry in Colorado, including the "Good Neighbor" authority that enables the Colorado State Forest Service to manage forests on federal lands.  He also responded to questions from the committee about the beneficiaries of Forest Health Grants.

11:33:12 AM  

Jacque Buchanan, Deputy Regional Forester, United State Forest Service (USFS), identified national forests and national grasslands in the the Rocky Mountain Region of the USFS.  Ms. Buchanan also distributed a written copy her testimony [Attachment C].  She discussed efforts to promote healthy forests and range lands and recreational opportunities on USFS lands.  She also discussed collaboration between the USFS and other state and federal land management agencies and federal initiatives to promote timber harvesting on insect impacted lands.  She explained that over the past several years, the federal government has spent $161 million to improve forest health on USFS lands in Colorado.  

11:51:15 AM  

Ms. Buchanan and Mr. Lester responded to questions from the committee about historic changes in forest management policies in Colorado including policies pertaining to fire suppression, grazing, and timber harvesting.

11:56:48 AM  

Mr. Lester and Ms. Buchanan responded to questions about the effect of timber management on water supplies and the health of watersheds.

12:11:40 PM  

Dan Casey, President, Colorado Timber Industry Association (CTIA), explained that he operates a timber mill in Woodland Colorado and discussed the membership of CTIA.  He discussed the health of Colorado's forest and the need to harvest insect damaged forests.  He also identified federal funding challenges that limit the ability of the USFS to manage its forests.

12:22:28 PM  

Molly Pits, Executive Director, Colorado Timber Industry Association, responded to questions from the committee about timber supplies available to mills in Colorado.

12:24:35 PM  
Lyle Laverty, Society of American Foresters,
discussed Colorado's forest health problems and the need for additional
forest management to address these challenges.  He discussed recreation
on forest lands and related economic benefits.  He also responded
to questions from the committee about carbon consumed by live trees and
what happens to that carbon when the tree dies or are consumed by fire.