Healthy forests are essential for a healthy Colorado. Forest health depends on a stable climate and robust ecosystems. The Forest Health Index (FHI) tracks these conditions for 38 forested watersheds across Colorado.
We monitor 12 indicators of forest health, such as temperature, precipitation, and fire risk. Each year we compare present and historic conditions. We assign each indicator a score based on how much current conditions differ from the past.
We invite you to find your watershed and see how conditions have changed over the past 40 years.About Forest Health
Our forest is the dominant feature of our local landscape—it defines the character of our local ecosystems as well as human communities in the area. Forest health, in large part, equates to environmental health.
As a result, the indicators we look at include a broad range of physical environmental indicators, such as climatic and ecological measurements, as well as records on human activity and management practices in and around the forest.
The indicators we have selected include drivers of change and the effects of those changes on the forest ecosystem and neighboring human community.
To measure change the Forest Health Index (FHI) scores each indicator on a scale of -10 to 10.
A score of 0 means that the indicator matches its historic average. Negative scores mean an indicator is below its historic average, and positive scores indicate that it’s above. As we all know there is seldom a year when anything is perfectly average.