Forest Health Index 2.0
To help the RFV better understand its forests, ACES created the Forest Health Index (FHI) The FHI uses data from many sources to assess the health of our forests.
Currently, the FHI ends at the boundaries of the Roaring Fork watershed. Unlike websites, forests don’t have boundaries. Our assessment of forest health shouldn’t stop at watershed boundaries either. Therefore, ACES is currently working to expand the FHI to cover every forested watershed in Colorado.
One of the primary goals of the FHI has always been education. People of all ages in Colorado depend on their local forests for water, jobs, recreation and more. But many of them aren’t aware of what’s happening to the forests out their back door. A statewide FHI will allow people to better understand how factors that drive forest health, like temperature, precipitation, and streamflow, are changing.
As part of the redesign, we are making the FHI more accessible to students. Rather than analyzing data from far off places, Colorado students can apply critical thinking using information from their backyard. By expanding the FHI, we’ll make this available to thousands more students and communities across the state.