GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – Vince Urbina, a community forester based out of the Colorado State Forest Service Grand Junction District Office, has been recognized as 2017 Arborist of the Year by the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture. The award acknowledges the service, actions and ideas of those who have made substantial contributions to practical arboriculture in the chapter, which includes Colorado, Montana, New Mexico and Wyoming.

Vince Urbina, CSFS community forester
Vince Urbina, CSFS community forester

“Vince has been the face of ISA at numerous workshops in the outlying states of our chapter, as well as a key force in keeping the Western Colorado Community Forestry Conference going,” wrote Bill Cassel, the Denver-based private landscaping consultant who nominated Urbina, in the award application.

Urbina, who has served with the CSFS for nearly three decades, is the agency’s lead urban and community forester for the Western Slope, providing communities with workshops and technical assistance on tree planting, selection and care. With 23 years working out of the Grand Junction District, he has focused exclusively on urban and community forestry since 2002. He also previously served for five years out of the CSFS Fort Collins District.

As a member of the ISA Rocky Mountain Chapter, Urbina served a four-year term on the executive committee and in the past has served as chapter president and editor of the chapter’s newsletter, The Rocky Mountain Arborist. He also is an ISA-certified arborist and an ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualifications (TRAQ) instructor.

Urbina says that when he agreed to serve on the ISA Executive Committee he did it for three reasons: to give back to the industry, to offer his time like peers before him and to have a better opportunity to meet fellow arborists.

“I felt like I have accomplished all of my goals,” he said.

Urbina earned a degree in Forest and Range Science from Colorado State University in 1973. Besides his career with the CSFS, he was at one time a fruit grower in Palisade, producing peaches, cherries and apples. He also worked as a field tree grower and plant propagator at the Fort Collins Wholesale Nursery for 10 years.

“I was very honored to receive this award,” Urbina said. “I have put in a lot of time with this group, and I am proud of the accomplishments that I have been a part of for the chapter.”