Colorado State Forest Service issues report on health of Colorado’s forests

The Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) issued the 2014 report on the health of Colorado’s forests this summer, which provides information about emerging and ongoing forest health issues.

The following information is part of that report and can be found in its entirety on the CSFS website at

Data on insect and disease issues for this report were largely obtained through the annual aerial forest health survey, data cooperative project between the CSFS and the Rocky Mountain Region of the USDA Forest Service. Data were also derived from field inspections, contacts with forest landowners and special surveys designed to ensure early detection of invasive insect species.

For the third straight year, spruce beetle was the most widespread insect pest of Colorado’s forests, impacting 485,000 acres of Engelmann spruce forest in 2014. In contrast, the area affected by mountain pine beetle declined to its lowest level since the current outbreak began in 1996. Other insect and disease concerns in Colorado’s mountain forests include Douglas fir beetle, subalpine fir decline, western spruce budworm and defoliating insects of aspen.

For more information, or if you have questions about Colorado’s forests and the programs being implemented to address forest health concerns, please contact Michael B. Lester, state forester/director, Colorado State Forest Service, at (970) 491-6303.

The full version of this story is available in the print edition and e-edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100 or click here.