Healthy forests are vital to the long-term health of Colorado’s environment and economy. Forests provide clean water to Coloradans (and 18 other states) and filter our air. They also provide opportunities for recreation, including skiing, which is a $2 billion industry in our state.
However, these forests are threatened by diseases, fires and insects such as the mountain pine beetle. For instance, the mountain pine beetle will kill all of the mature lodgepole pine in Colorado in the next two to four years.
One way to reduce the impacts from these threats is through active forest management. By proactively developing markets for forest materials, fuel loads will be reduced, Coloradans can provide wood products for themselves, and the risks to life and property may be drastically reduced.
To give an idea of what market opportunities exist, Colorado imported enough:
- Pet bedding to cover all five runways at DIA (12,000 feet long by 150 feet wide) to a depth of more than 10 inches
- Firewood to supply every family in Jackson County with 5.2 cords of firewood, almost enough to last a year
- Landscape mulch to bury Coors Field to a depth of at least 16 feet
You can help. Proactively manage your forests. Get involved in your local community. Take advantage of programs offered by the Colorado State Forest Service. At CoWood, our staff of specially-trained experts also can help.
Wood Use in Colorado at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century, a report written by Dennis Lynch, professor emeritus (Colorado State University), and Kurt Mackes, assistant professor and CoWood specialist, provides more information about wood utilization.