Meet Your Forest: Volunteer to be a forest monitor (column) | SummitDaily.com

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Meet Your Forest: Volunteer to be a forest monitor (column)

This May we begin our fifth Forest Monitoring season. We already have over 200 monitoring locations throughout Summit County where volunteer citizen scientists track the health of our forest lands. We have a team of dedicated volunteers, but need more people of all ages and physical abilities to join us.

You will be measuring regeneration of trees, forest diversity and other forest resiliency indicators. You will be identifying outbreaks of noxious weeds and invasive species so that the U.S. Forest Service can take action to eradicate. You will have opportunities to research and investigate historical forest conditions in our county. We will be working in teams of two and three, with at least one experienced forest monitor per team.

You do not need to be a scientist or a strong hiker to participate. Most of our plots are on U.S. Forest Service managed land near our homes and communities. We are truly doing backyard monitoring to better understand our evolving forest conditions, and help inform future forest management decisions.

Come help us engage our community and citizens with our awesome forest lands.

Training sessions will be held Saturday, May 14 in Wildernest and Wednesday, May 18 in Frisco. Contact FDRD for details.

Jasmine Hupcey is the office and volunteer manager for Friends of the Dillon Ranger District. She can be reached at jasmine@fdrd.org. For more information on the organization and volunteer opportunities, visit http://www.fdrd.org.