Fitzgerald Award

Healthy forests directly contribute to healthy watersheds. Related to this, a local forester, Gretchen Fitzgerald, with the San Juan National Forest, recently received a distinguished Regional Forester’s Honor Award for her work to restore burned areas and help design for mitigations for potential stresses from climate change. Gretchen acquired two grants totaling $1.2 million through the National Forest Foundation. Funding came from Chevrolet and Disney corporations in exchange for carbon offsets. The funding was used to plant 1,300 acres with trees and other vegetation and the results are being monitored. Gretchen also secured funding from the Bureau of Land Management and has partnered with Colorado State University--Boulder, Fort Lewis College, and Mountain Studies Institute to study the pace of climate change at the local level. Congratulations Gretchen on your well-deserved recognition and award!