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2022 Report on the Health of Colorado's Forests header graphic

Each year, forest health reports provide information to the Colorado General Assembly and the general public about the health and condition of forests across Colorado, as well as the progress the Colorado State Forest Service is making in addressing critical forest health issues in our state.

Statewide Forest Health Issues

Forest Health Issues by Region of Colorado

Across Colorado, the Colorado State Forest Service is working with residents, communities and partners to improve forest health on a local level. Explore what’s happening by region of the state.

CSFS Northwest Area CSFS Southwest Area CSFS Southeast Area CSFS Northeast Area

Reforestation Critical for Colorado’s Future

Colorado State Forest Service NurseryDemand is rapidly growing for nursery-grown seedling trees and shrubs. Colorado needs seedling trees to reforest burned areas, store carbon and build climate-resilient watersheds and forests.

The Colorado State Forest Service Nursery is the state’s leader in producing low-cost, Colorado-grown seedling trees and shrubs for conservation. Last year, the CSFS Nursery started upgrades to its facilities to ramp up production, thanks to funding from the Colorado Legislature.

Stay the Course to Make Fundamental Change in Forests, Communities

Matt McCombs

Challenges persist for Colorado’s forests. This report highlights how ongoing drought, an indicator of a warming climate, continues to stress our forests, setting the stage for insect and disease outbreaks and large, destructive wildfires. We know people continue to move into wildfire-prone areas as Colorado’s population grows and more homes are built in the wildland-urban interface. These challenges are enormous, but the state is on the right path to bringing about fundamental changes in the landscape that protect water quality, reduce fuels and sustain our outdoor recreation economy.

The Colorado State Forest Service and its partners have put the pedal down over the last few years on forest management thanks to historic investments by Governor Polis and the Colorado General Assembly. Our local and federal partners have followed suit. Together, we are doing the groundwork necessary to build our capacity and impact to equal the scale of the problem. It took many decades for Colorado’s forests to get to an unhealthy state – and it will take a sustained effort to bring about the change we know is necessary.

I encourage you to read this report and join the CSFS on the road to healthier forests, wildfire ready communities and protected watersheds. Working together, we can leave things better than we found them, securing a better quality of life for all Coloradans.

Matthew M. McCombs, State Forester and Colorado State Forest Service Director

Shared Stewardship Essential to Protect Colorado’s Natural Resources

Dan Gibb, Colorado Dept. of Natural Resources executive directorYear after year, Colorado proves to be a leader in promoting forest health, reducing wildfire risk and protecting watersheds. Since the 2021 Colorado legislative session, the Colorado Department of Natural Resources and Colorado State Forest Service have seen a monumental increase in funding to support ongoing and new initiatives, utilizing the best science and tools. I am proud of the work completed and look forward to what we accomplish in the years to come.

Shared stewardship is growing and collaboration among all levels of government and private landowners is essential to protecting Colorado’s natural resources. DNR is committed to working with the CSFS and other partners to ensure forest management projects are done in the right places, at the right scale, and using all our available tools for active management.

The CSFS annual forest health report highlights the importance of working together to strengthen our collective mission on forest restoration.

– Dan Gibbs, Colorado Department of Natural Resources Executive Director

Photography: Masthead: Joy Jackson; Insects and Diseases: Dan West, CSFS; Living With Wildfire: Ron Cousineau, CSFS; Watershed Protection: Amy Bulger, CSFS; Seedlings: CSFS

Type your address or the city or town where you live into the search field on this map.

Map powered by the Colorado Forest Atlas from the Colorado State Forest Service