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Hunter Creek Prescribed Fire: A Victory for Collaborative Restoration

On May 14th, 2016, following an extensive planning and monitoring process, a suitable spring burn window presented itself for the USFS White River National Forest and Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit to conduct a prescribed fire on the south-facing slopes in the Hunter Creek Valley.


Anatomy of a Prescribed Fire: Avalanche Creek - Filoha Meadows

On April 4th, 2016, the White River National Forest, in partnership with Pitkin County OST, CO Parks & Wildlife, and Carbondale Fire, conducted a 500-acre prescribed fire on the slopes above Avalanche Creek Campground and Filoha Meadows. The burn targeted shrub, pinyon-juniper, aspen, and grassy vegetation in areas that provide critical habitat for bighorn sheep and other native wildlife. Following an extensive planning and monitoring process, a suitable burn window presented itself this spring.


Monitoring Forest Health from Above

As climate change continues to trigger dramatic changes in our forest ecosystems, Aspen Center for Environmental Studies’ (ACES) For the Forest program is committed to producing groundbreaking scientific research on forest issues and actively restoring our forest landscapes.


A Wildflower Walk with Janis Huggins

After three years at ACES, I finally had the great pleasure of participating in a Naturalist Field School Wildflower Walk with the incomparable Janis Huggins. Janis is the author of Wild at Heart, the definitive, user-friendly natural history guide for Snowmass, Aspen, and the Maroon Bells Wilderness.


Serviceberry in Spring

It’s that magical time of year where new bursts of life color the landscape seemingly overnight, and my early evening wanders around the Woody Creek ranch I call home have become a daily occurrence. My eyes are peeled for subtle changes in plant phenology—periodic life cycle events such as budburst, first leaf and first flower—that I’m tracking as part of ACES’ Community Field Lab citizen science initiative.


ACES Premieres Animated Short and Introduces Forest Health Index

Posted in Bulletin Board

Press Release: Aspen, Colorado, January 7, 2013 — After the record-breaking 2012 fire season and drought in Colorado, there has never been a more critical moment to assess the health of our forests and watersheds. Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES), through it’s For the Forest Program, has launched an educational forest health initiative aimed at engaging the public with its Forest Health Index and animated short film, What’s Happening in Our Forest?


Smuggler Mountain Restoration Work

Overgrown gamble oak on Smuggler Mountain
ACES' Forest Health Program (formerly For the Forest) is excited about upcoming collaborations with local and federal government agencies to promote healthy, resilient forest.
 
Beginning today ACES, the City of Aspen, and Pitkin County Open Space are working together on three restoration projects in the wildland-urban interface on Smuggler Mountain. Each project seeks to improve wildlife habitat, and reduce fuel loads in different vegetation types: Gambel oak, lodgepole pine, and aspen.