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Forest Service and UW Ruckelshaus Institute Offer Open Houses on Forest Recovery

May 14, 2013
Woman with chainsaw
Wyoming Conservation Corps crew member Meghan Lockhart was one of many workers who removed trees that were killed by bark beetles. (Ruckelshaus Institute)

Open houses in Laramie, Saratoga and Steamboat Springs, Colo., will highlight ecological dynamics as local forests respond and move beyond the bark beetle epidemic.

The public is invited to attend any of three informal meetings offered this month by the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests (MBR) and the University of Wyoming’s Ruckelshaus Institute. Forest managers and their UW colleagues will provide insight on the past, present and future of the forests.

Each meeting will begin with presentations by UW researchers and U.S. Forest Service managers, who will explain the bark beetle outbreak and changes in the forest. Presentations will be followed by an informal open house, where the public is encouraged to meet MBR managers to learn more and ask questions about the local management response to the outbreak and opportunities for future forest restoration.

The schedule of meetings is as follows:

Laramie -- Thursday, May 23, 6-8 p.m., Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center auditorium;

Steamboat Springs, Colo. -- Tuesday, May 28, 6-8 p.m., Bud Werner Memorial Library;

Saratoga -- Thursday, May 30, 6-8 p.m., Platte Valley Community Center.

Presenters include Dan Tinker and Brent Ewers, both from the UW Department of Botany. Tinker specializes in fire ecology and Ewers in plant physical ecology. They will discuss how the forests are responding to the bark beetle outbreak.

Additionally, officials from the U.S. Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Region and MBR will discuss management strategies and how the agency fosters forest recovery.

“These meetings are meant to share the story of our recovering forests, allow the public to ask questions and provide an opportunity to meet forest managers in person,” says Emilene Ostlind, Ruckelshaus Institute communications coordinator.

For more information, visit or call the Ruckelshaus Institute at (307) 766-5080.

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