– ecology and natural resource consulting since 1978  

Forest Health

Aging stand of aspen

Forests in Colorado and across the western United States are undergoing a period of rapid ecological change due to insect and disease epidemics, fire suppression, and drought.  We evaluate the health and long-term viability of forests, identify insects and diseases that may contribute to a loss of forests, and provide recommendations for mitigation and restoration.

We work with resorts, communities, and individual landowners to develop plans for reforestation and the maintenance of ecologic functions. Our ecological approach to reforestation includes the propagation of trees from on-site seed collections.

Mountain pine beetle larvae on lodgepole pine

Mountain pine beetle feeding galleries

Western Ecological Resource is developing and implementing programs to re-establish forests in areas affected by mountain pine beetle and other insects and diseases.  We are working with the Colorado State Forest Service to grow lodgepole pine seedlings from locally collected cones, and then planting the seedlings in clear cuts where beetle-killed trees have been removed.  We are also experimenting with direct-seeding methods in various treatment areas to determine the most cost-effective methods to restore forests. 

Aspen with damaged bark

Aspen forests have also experienced a widespread decline across much of Colorado and the western United States.  We are working with land owners to enhance regeneration in aging aspen forests using methods such as thinning, mechanical root stimulation, removal of competing vegetation, and protection from deer and elk.

Lodgepole pine stand infected with mountain pine beetle 

  Cordillera Forest Health & Restoration Project

 Lodgepole pine, Engelmann spruce, and Douglas fir seedlings were planted
in clear cuts where beetle-killed lodgepole pine trees were removed

  Newly planted
  lodgepole pine seedling

Pine cones were collected onsite, the seeds were 
extracted and then planted in exposed soil
clear cuts

  Natural regeneration of 
  pine seedlings from
  cones left behind in a

Engelmann spruce seedlings
in clear cuts are protected
from the sun by shade covers

  A young aspen sucker
  emerges in a clear cut
  where lodgepole pines
  have been removed

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