Press Release (CO State Forest Service)
This week, the Colorado State Forest Service launched a new website for landowners, land managers and others to access data about Colorado’s forests.
The CSFS gathers and analyzes data about wildfire risk, priority areas for forestry work, on-the-ground projects and more related to forestlands and natural resources in the state. The Colorado Forest Atlas is the one-stop shop for the public, partners and CSFS staff to access this geospatial data and information when developing new projects, writing forestry plans or assessing wildfire risk for communities.
“As a service and outreach agency, the Colorado State Forest Service is committed to ensuring our data is available and easily accessible to all Coloradans, including our partners in forestry and wildfire risk reduction,” said Amanda West Fordham, Manager of Science Information for the CSFS. “The Colorado Forest Atlas offers a user-friendly interface for access to web applications that can be used to make informed decisions and develop plans that will make the greatest, positive impact on the health of our forests.”
Wildfire Risk Apps
The first two apps included in the launch of the Colorado Forest Atlas are the Wildfire Risk Viewer and the Risk Reduction Planner. The CSFS developed these apps several years ago to offer access to data and reports concerning wildland fire risk in Colorado. The agency previously offered these apps on a stand-alone website called the Colorado Wildfire Risk Assessment Portal (CO-WRAP), but with new apps in development, it opted to develop a sole website for all its apps that do or will provide access to its data, Fordham said.
The Wildfire Risk Viewer (formerly called the Public Viewer on the CO-WRAP website) is an app that anyone can use to learn more about wildfire risk, local fire history and additional resources that can be accessed to reduce risk. With more than half of all Coloradans living in the wildland-urban interface – about 3 million people – the CSFS is urging homeowners to visit the Colorado Forest Atlas and use the Wildfire Risk Viewer to assess their neighborhood’s risk during Wildfire Awareness Month in May.
The Risk Reduction Planner (formerly called the Professional Viewer on the CO-WRAP website) is an app for partners and professional users to generate reports that they can use in planning efforts. With its move to the Colorado Forest Atlas website from the CO-WRAP website, the Risk Reduction Planner has a new design and is now compatible with mobile devices.
More Apps in the Works
Eventually, the Colorado Forest Atlas will include additional apps and some are in development. Later this year, the CSFS will add an app for the 2020 Forest Action Plan, where users can explore and use data from the plan. In addition, the CSFS will add an app called GeoTracks, slated for release next year, to plan and track its projects and activities.
“With these new apps coming onboard, the Colorado Forest Atlas will help us and our partners to plan, implement and monitor projects over the long term,” said Wilfred Previant, Acting Associate Director of Science and Data at the CSFS. “It will ensure we are as effective as possible in improving the health of our forests in the locations of greatest need in our state, using the best available science and data.”
The CSFS developed the Colorado Forest Atlas with Technosylva, a company with expertise in creating software for wildfire risk planning. The CSFS received funding for the Colorado Forest Atlas from the State of Colorado and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The Colorado Forest Atlas is available at coloradoforestatlas.org. For more information, please contact Fordham at (970) 491-8443.