In Utah, Restoring Spruce Forests One Cone at a Time
The Utah Forest Alliance has been working on restoring spruce habitat since 2000.
By Michelle Brown
Curtis W. Stough is an associate professor in the Department of Forest Resources Leadership at the University of Utah, and the director of the Utah Forest Alliance, a group of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) across the state that work to support the state’s decision-making in protecting the state’s forests from climate change, invasive pests, and other threats. Stough is also co-founder of the Utah Forest and Tree Protection Organization (TFTPO), a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to protect the state’s forests through promoting better stewardship, understanding, and conservation.
In Utah, restoring spruce forests has been a mission of the Utah Forest Alliance (UFA) since 2000. The mission of the UFA, according to the UFA’s mission statement, is “to promote a stewardship model of the forest that focuses on multiple-use value, and to ensure the restoration of native tree species and the preservation of vital wildlife habitat.”
This is the state of conservation today, with efforts happening all over the state to address threats such as invasive species, climate change, nutrient cycling, and wildfire. However, the focus, or mission, of our work is to restore native forests to their past glory, to ensure that those forests will be there to meet the demands of the future.
The Utah Forest Alliance has been working on restoring native spruce forests since 2000. The UFA partners with more than 30 non-governmental organizations across the state that work to protect the state’s forests. However, the majority of work happening today is done through a non-profit called Utah Spruce Restoration, Inc. (USRI), which is responsible for most of the restoration of native spruce forests in Utah.
Since 2000, we’ve done a tremendous amount of work to get the conversation about native spruce forests