The White River National Forest encompasses 2.3 million acres in north-central Colorado west of the Continental Divide and straddling I-70. It includes one-sixth of national forest system lands in Colorado, but accounts for about 30 percent of recreational use.
Rocky Mountain Forests
The two epidemics threaten to kill the majority of mature spruce and lodgepole pine trees in northern Colorado and southern Wyoming.
Two lightning-ignited fires roared through forests of pinon pine, Utah juniper and Gambel oak in Mesa Verde National Park, scorching 21,061 acres in the park and another 7,786 acres nearby.
Proposed management and policy changes to improve firefighter safety were accepted by USFS.
During a wildfire, mercury stored in the foliage and ground litter is released and carried into the atmosphere.