The purpose of this network is to benefit and support place-based forest collaboratives in Colorado by connecting them to information, resources, and each other, and by telling their stories to make their value and needs understood.
For years, collaborative leaders and partners have convened in an annual Forest Collaboratives Summit to share updates, build relationships, and learn from one another. Participants agreed that these meetings were beneficial, but there was little capacity for follow-up or ongoing engagement. Hearing the need for more consistent networking amongst forest collaboratives, the Center for Collaborative Conservation conducted a Situation Assessment in 2020 to explore the need and desire for a statewide Forest Collaboratives Network. Nearly three dozen interviews with people involved in collaboratives across Colorado confirmed that there are specific needs collaboratives face that are currently unmet where a network could add substantial value. Discussions with networks in other states affirmed their structure, content, and value. In short, the assessment found that there was a strong need and interest in such a network.
Upon securing three years’ worth of generous funding from Great Outdoors Colorado, Mighty Arrow Family Foundation, and Argosy Foundation, we hired Katie McGrath Novak to serve as a half-time coordinator and launched the Colorado Forest Collaboratives Network (CFCN) in January 2022.
Year one of the Network consisted of dozens of one-on-one and small-group meetings, and four regional listening sessions across the state. Our work plan developed from what we heard in these conversations.
Building & Maintaining Connections
We send occasional emails containing news, events, and resources for forest collaboratives and their partners.
We serve place-based forest collaboratives in Colorado. For a list of who we aim to support, click the green button below. If you notice that someone is missing, please let us know!
To see all place-based conservation collaboratives in Colorado on a map, check out the Colorado Atlas of Collaborative Conservation!
Icon colors correspond to three broad focus areas used to group collaboratives:
Find a detailed report of the Summit and next steps in the 2022 Summary of the Annual Forest Collaboratives Summit.
“Having the opportunity to provide feedback and insights to decisions-makers was really valuable.”
“Forest Collaboratives leaders showed up, engaged, and met one another with plenty of time for networking.”
“Great opportunity to network with folks from different regions that I don’t typically get to talk to.”
In late 2022, Network Coordinator Katie McGrath Novak was appointed to serve on the Council as ‘an individual employed or associated with a forest collaborative organization.’ The Colorado Forest Health Council is a 26-member volunteer stakeholder body whose role is to provide a collaborative forum to advise the Governor, through the Executive Director of the Department of Natural Resources, and the Colorado General Assembly, on issues, opportunities, and threats to Colorado’s forests. Its mission includes improving forest health in Colorado through Forest Health Council 5 integrated, science-based approaches, with a focus on cross-jurisdictional collaboration among federal, state, and local governments, as well as private and nonprofit partners to reduce wildfire risk, restore ecological resilience, safeguard communities and water supplies, mitigate and adapt to climate change, support local economies, and protect recreation areas. Learn more at the Forest Health Council webpage.
Additionally, the Council’s 2022 Annual Report includes recommendations to the Wildfire Matters Committee and Governor Polis such as expanding forestry education, investing in workforce development programs, and increasing funding and support for Good Neighbor Authority work and others.
Here’s a brief Summary from the Forest Health Council’s February 2023 Meeting. The document summarizes points from the meeting believed to be most relevant to Colorado’s place-based forest collaboratives.
Upcoming Forest Health Council Quarterly Meeting:
Next quarterly meeting is scheduled for April 26, 2023; details TBD.
Zoom links and agendas for each meeting can be found 24-hours before the meeting at the Forest Health Council webpage.
NOTE: Forest health Council meetings are open to the public and have a public comment period at the end of each meeting; we encourage you to attend to learn and make your voice heard!
Katie McGrath Novak
Colorado Forest Collaboratives Network Coordinator
If you are a member of a collaborative, or are an interested partner with ideas for building further connections, I would love to set up a one-on-one call to get to know you and hear your ideas for the network. I am best reached at my email address.