Laydon appointed to Colorado Forest Health Council
Information provided by Douglas County
Governor Polis appointed Douglas County Commissioner Abe Laydon to the state’s new Colorado Forest Health Council.
The 26-member Council to which Laydon was appointed is a volunteer stakeholder body that will advise the governor through the executive director of the Department of Natural Resources and the Colorado General Assembly on issues, opportunities and threats impacting Colorado’s forests.
“As a commissioner in a county which is at significant risk of wildfire, I am honored to have the opportunity to help shape our state’s forest management, wildfire risk management policies, and priorities for the future,” said Laydon.
The Council, previously housed at the Colorado State Forest Service, was reconstituted through SB21-237, with a broader focus and more diverse membership of 26 members representing all corners of Colorado.
Its updated mission includes improving forest health in Colorado through integrated, science-based approaches, with a focus on collaboration among federal, state, and local governments, and private and nonprofit partners to mitigate wildfire, restore ecological health, safeguard communities and water supplies, address and adapt to climate change, support local economies and protect recreation amenities, including across jurisdictional boundaries.
“Colorado’s forests face unprecedented challenges from climate change, year-round wildfire risk, and population growth. Last year, our state saw the three largest wildfires on record, and Colorado needs a more robust and diverse advisory body to rise to the challenge of current forest health and wildfire mitigation realities,” said Colorado Department of Natural Resources Executive Director Dan Gibbs. “This newly elevated, cabinet level Forest Health Council will help guide and shape our renewed and refocused forest health and wildfire mitigation priorities across Colorado,” he continued.
Commissioner Laydon was appointed to a three-year term, and the Council will provide a report to the Governor and brief the General Assembly annually.