The Forest Health Index is a tool to help the community of the Roaring Fork Valley make sense of the wide range of interlinking environmental conditions that affect the health of our local forest. This site provides discussion and data on over 20 unique climatic, ecological, and socioeconomic indicators, offering a glimpse into both the potential drivers of change and the effects of change in our local forest environment.
What is forest health? Our notion of forest health is based on the premise that a healthy forest is one that is resilient to change and able to provide for local ecology as well as human goals. In defining forest health, we do not presume one definite notion of forest health. Instead, we present a view of forest health from four perspectives based on widely agreed upon public goals, which are:
What does the score mean? Throughout the Forest Health Index, you will see scores for each indicator. We have based these “FHI Scores” on the current status observed in these indicators using a scale from 1 to 100. Icons accompanying each score help to identify the status of each indicator at a glance. Weighted averages of scores within public goals are the basis of a score for each goal. Unlike the stock market, determining forest health (by any definition) cannot be distilled into a single number. As a result, the FHI scores are intended to highlight magnitudes of change or departure from normal within different indicators. We hope these scores will pique curiosity, probe discussion, and encourage involvement in forest health issues. We intend to periodically update and improve the index so that change in forest conditions can be witnessed over time.