Colorado State Assembly :: Assembly

Colorado State Assembly

The Colorado Channel

In 1955, the Colorado General Assembly established the Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) as a division of the Colorado State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, now known as Colorado State University.

While our focus has changed throughout the decades in response to emerging forestry issues, our commitment to providing timely, relevant forestry information and education to Colorado citizens has not. Following is a glance of where we are now and a look back at how we got here.

In 1965, a decade after the establishment of the CSFS, legislators expanded the agency’s responsibilities and designated the CSFS as the state entity to “provide for the protection of forest resources of the state from fire, insects and disease” and to educate private forest landowners in management techniques.

At the time of this expansion, the CSFS operated on a budget of $392, 000 and had only 29 employees divided among six field districts and a state office. Primary program areas were forest management; rural fire assistance; insect and disease management; marketing and utilization; and timber resource inventory. The agency also operated a seedling tree nursery and a shop for repairing and refurbishing fire equipment.

Insect and disease concerns dominated the agency’s attention during the 1970s and led to significant increases in both personnel and funding. High-profile incidents included the spread of Dutch elm disease in many of the state’s urban areas, particularly the hard-hit city of Denver, and the tremendous expansion of mountain pine beetle populations along the Front Range and I-70 corridor. By 1975, the agency’s budget had reached $1.6 million and was almost evenly split between state and federal dollars.

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