Forestry professionals and researchers from across the Southwest (AZ, New Mexico, Colorado, Idaho) will join county, tribal and state elected leaders July 23 at the Gila Community College Payson campus for a day-long symposium: ‘Achieving Forest Health in Arizona’s Forests: What is Sustainable and Executable?’
University of Arizona Gila County Cooperative Extension Agent Christopher Jones will moderate the morning panel discussion, scheduled to include Gila County Supervisor Tommie Martin, San Carlos Apache Forest Manager Dee Randall, and US Forest Service Forest Management Director Clifford Dils – who oversees Region 3, encompassing Arizona and New Mexico. State Forester David Tenney is also a panel guest, along with Coconino County Supervisor Art Babbott and State Senator Sylvia Allen.
The day-long event is geared to spur dialogue between elected officials and foresters, researchers and private industry.
Wood Products and Energy
“Our keynote speakers are Allen Reidhead of Novostar Wood Products and Brad Worsley of Novo Power – both based in Snowflake, and each explaining how wood products can be sustainably harvested to generate energy, while also managing for forest health on public lands,” said University of Arizona Gila County Cooperative Extension Agent Christopher Jones.
Space is limited; RSVP online at tinyurl.com/foresthealthjuly23 or call Gila County Cooperative Extension 928- 402-8585, or email [email protected]
After lunch the 1 - 3 p.m. agenda includes discussions of Funding Mechanisms: The White Mountain Stewardship Contract, Flagstaff Watershed Protection Plan, and Four Forests Initiative (4FRI) Bridge the Gap are featured to present possible means by which forest health management can be accomplished.
Forest Products, Practices and Funding
“Join us; engage with decision makers, land managers and forest resource producers to learn about forest health management in Arizona today,” said Jones. “We hope this builds common understanding about Arizona’s forest health issues and desired solutions. Learn about practical wood products, forest practices and funding mechanisms that have been implemented, and discuss strategies to advance forest health management that is sustainable.”
Forest health and watershed conditions in Arizona’s forests are considered impaired in many circumstances. Most pressing is the threat of uncharacteristically severe wildfire, which can damage forest and watershed resources, as well as communities and livelihoods of those living in the wildland urban interface.
Various initiatives, like the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) and the Flagstaff and Cragin Watershed Protection Projects, have worked to accelerate forest treatments to address Arizona’s forest health crisis on a meaningful landscape scale.
However, forest health management remains a challenge at this scale as well.
Potential solutions include improving in-the-woods forest operations, developing innovative value-added products and markets and developing novel collaborative funding mechanisms and incentives that support forest industry.
This symposium will help communicate desired solutions and practical approaches for how Arizona can achieve forest health that is sustainable and executable.