CSU’s Colorado Forest Restoration Institute Hosts Beyond the Bugs Conference April 19-21

Colorado State University’s Colorado Forest Restoration Institute is hosting a conference, “Beyond the Bugs: Future Range of Variability for Forests and Communities,” April 19-21 in Steamboat Springs, Colo. Participants will deliberate economic, social and ecological desired conditions for the next forest generation and forest-reliant communities.

As a variety of insect outbreaks make their way through different forest types across the United States, they leave behind many questions regarding the future of forest landscapes and associated communities.

  • Will the forest come back? What type of forest? If not forest, what will take its place?
  • Will the bugs come back? What are the projections in relation to fire?
  • What is the role of a changing climate for the future of these landscapes?
  • What do these outbreaks mean for water quality and quantity?
  • What are the repercussions for wildlife?
  • How will these outbreaks affect recreation and tourism?
  • How will they affect logging and biomass utilization industries?
  • How will they affect quality of life issues related to scenic amenities?
  • What will be left after this generation’s children and grandchildren?

Agencies, communities and states are addressing hazard and fire mitigation efforts but as these take place, it is increasingly important to look beyond the present outbreaks to the future. At this conference, participants from many communities, agencies and stakeholder groups from Colorado, Wyoming and other states will have a chance to explore the possibilities and projections and articulate what is important to them for the future of these landscapes.

The conference will start with a series of short presentations updating participants on the most recent evidence in relation to lodgepole and other forest types’ interactions with fire, climate and insects and projections for these forests and related wildlife. A second series of short presentations will address the perspectives of the economic sectors, communities, agencies and the conservation community. The rest of the conference will concentrate on a series of discussions that focus on the economic, social and ecological factors related to the future of these landscapes, including possible strategies for different places.

The ultimate goal of the conference is to allow participants to have formulated a blue print for initiating strategic planning for a sustainable future of these ecosystems.

The registration fee is $65 if participants register before April 5, after which registration is $80. There is an opportunity for companies, businesses and organizations to purchase exhibitor space for an additional $50.

To register and for more information, visit https://www.regonline.com/CFRI_beyond_the_bugs2010. See also the CFRI website at http://warnercnr.colostate.edu/cfri-home. For questions, please contact Amanda Bucknam at (970) 491-0801 or amanda.bucknam@colostate.edu.

This conference is co-sponsored by the Colorado State Forest Service, USDA Forest Service, Warner College of Natural Resources, Bureau of Land Management, Denver Water and Society of American Foresters.