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Governor Jared Polis and Dan Gibbs, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Natural Resources announced the appointed members of the Colorado Forest Health Council today.
The Council is a volunteer stakeholder body whose role is to provide a collaborative forum to advise the Governor, through the Executive Director of the Department of Natural Resources, and the Colorado General Assembly, on issues, opportunities, and threats to Colorado’s forests.
The Council, previously housed at the Colorado State Forest Service, was reconstituted during the Colorado 2021 Legislative Session through SB21-237, with a broader focus and more diverse membership of 26 members representing all corners of Colorado. Its updated mission includes improving forest health in Colorado through integrated, science-based approaches, with a focus on collaboration among federal, state, and local governments, and private and nonprofit partners to mitigate wildfire, restore ecological health, safeguard communities and water supplies, mitigate and adapt to climate change, support local economies and protect recreation amenities, including across jurisdictional boundaries.
“Colorado’s forests face unprecedented challenges from climate change, year-round wildfire risk, and population growth. Last year our state saw the three largest wildfires on record and Colorado needs a more robust and diverse advisory body to rise to the challenge of current forest health and wildfire mitigation realities,” said Dan Gibbs, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Natural Resources. “This newly elevated, cabinet level Forest Health Council will help guide and shape our renewed and refocused forest health and wildfire mitigation priorities across Colorado. I look forward to getting to work with our newly appointed Council members, who represent the diversity and complexity of forest health entities collaborating everyday and who now will have the opportunity to shape our state’s forest management and wildfire risk management policies and priorities for the future.”
Members of the Colorado Forest Health Council include:
Ex-Officio members or their designees include: The Executive Director of the Department of Natural Resources, who will Chair the Council; Colorado State Forester, Colorado State Forest Service; Director, Division of Fire Prevention and Control; Regional Forester or Deputy Regional Forester for US Forest Service, Region 2; Forestry Program Lead, US Bureau of Land Management; State Conservationist, Natural Resources Conservation Service.