For management purposes, the Colorado State Forest Service defines forest restoration as restoring healthy, diverse and resilient ecological systems to minimize uncharacteristically severe fires, especially on critical watersheds.
There is much discussion among researchers, practitioners and others about what constitutes forest restoration.
Restoring forest ecosystems involves more than hazardous fuels reduction. Forest restoration is necessary to re-establish structure and function, and protect and restore critical habitat, riparian areas, watersheds and many other attributes.
A generally accepted definition of forest restoration is "to re-establish the presumed structure, productivity and species diversity of the forest originally present at a site. The ecological processes and functions of the restored forest will closely match those of the original forest."1
For our purposes, we define forest restoration as restoring healthy, diverse and resilient ecological systems to minimize uncharacteristically severe fires, especially on critical watersheds.
Click here for Forest Restoration Guidelines in Ponderosa Pine on the Front Range of Colorado.
For more information on forest restoration, please visit the following websites:
- Front Range Fuels Treatment Partnership
- Colorado Forest Restoration Institute
- Ecological Restoration Institute
- Colorado Wildfires and Ecosystem Health
1Gilmour, D.A., San, N.V., and Xiong Tsechalicha. 2000. Rehabilitation of degraded forest ecosystems in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam: an overview. IUCN-Asia, Cambridge, UK.