San Juan Bark Beetles and Watersheds Workshop: What are the effects of beetle infestations on water supply and water quality?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - Durango, CO


The Western Water Assessment (WWA), the Mountain Studies Institute (MSI), the San Juan Headwaters Forest Health Partnership, and the U.S. Forest Service co-sponsored this workshop to explore the water-related impacts of bark beetle infestations in the San Juans and the Rocky Mountain West. Over 40 people participated in the workshop, representing forest management agencies, water management agencies, Indian tribes, ski areas, and universities.

The goals of the workshop were to:

  • Share key findings and uncertainties from beetle-water research in Colorado and elsewhere in the West, and describe ongoing studies

  • Seek input from resource managers on the Western Slope about their water/watershed concerns and information needs related to ongoing beetle infestations, particularly the spruce beetle infestation

  • Help connect decision-makers with researchers and information resources

 

There was also a community meeting and open house in Pagosa Springs on the evening of Tuesday, April 9, co-sponsored by Firewise Communities of Southwest Colorado (Firewise).

Workshop Agenda and Presentations

Video: Links from video/audio files are posted below from all of the workshop sessions.

Powerpoint Slides: Most of the sessions below have a link to a .pdf file with the slide deck.

Notes: Scott Wagner's presentation on fire regimes and fire behavior, and the group discussion session, have a link to a .pdf file with notes from those sessions.

Introductions and purpose of meeting

Welcome and USFS perspective
Scott Wagner, District Ranger, Pagosa RD, USDA Forest Service

Overview of the Mountain Studies Institute and San Juan Headwaters Forest Health Partnership
Marcie Bidwell, Mountain Studies Institute

Overview of the Western Water Assessment
Eric Gordon, Western Water Assessment

Overview of the La Plata Conservation District
Tom Hartnett, La Plata Conservation District and San Juan Watershed Association

Purpose of workshop
Jeff Lukas, Western Water Assessment

VIDEO

 

Bark beetle epidemics in the San Juan mountains and across the Western US
 

Native bark beetles in the Rocky Mountains, US
Barbara Bentz, USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station and Utah State University
SLIDES (.pdf) | VIDEO 

Spatial patterns of the ongoing spruce beetle epidemic in the San Juan Mountains
David Scott, Colorado State University
SLIDES (.pdf) | VIDEO

 

Overview of recent research results on hydrologic impacts of beetle infestations

Bark beetle infestations: Impacts to water and energy processes in forests
Eric Gordon, Western Water Assessment
SLIDES (.pdf) | VIDEO 

Beetle impacts on runoff timing and volume at the watershed scale
Jeff Lukas, Western Water Assessment
SLIDES (.pdf) | VIDEO

Ecosystem responses to mountain pine beetle and management in Colorado forests
Rob Hubbard, USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station (presented by Jeff Lukas)
SLIDES (.pdf) | VIDEO 

What can we say about hydrological impacts at stand and basin scales?
Eric Gordon, Western Water Assessment
VIDEO

 

Overview of recent research results and management: water quality and fire
 

Water quality impacts: nutrient cycling and stream chemistry
Rob Hubbard, USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station (presented by Jeff Lukas)
SLIDES (.pdf) | VIDEO

Fire regimes and fire behavior in San Juan spruce-fir forests: Risks with and without beetle infestation
Scott Wagner, USFS San Juan National Forest
NOTES (.pdf) | VIDEO 

What can we say about water quality impacts in spruce-dominated forests?
Jeff Lukas, Western Water Assessment
VIDEO


Moderated Group Discussion — Impacts to hydrology and water quality
Jeff Lukas, Western Water Assessment
NOTES (.pdf) | VIDEO

 
Future impacts of climate and other factors

Native bark beetles in Colorado: Climate change implications
Barbara Bentz, USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station and Utah State University
SLIDES (.pdf) | VIDEO

Interpreting changes to Upper Colorado River Basin hydrologic response via alternative climatic and land-cover scenarios
Ben Livneh, Western Water Assessment
SLIDES (.pdf) | VIDEO

Final thoughts

Jeff Lukas, Eric Gordon, Marcie Bidwell
VIDEO


Go to the WWA Beetles, Water, and Climate web resource