Colorado’s forest resources, 2004-2013

Michael T. Thompson, John D. Shaw, Chris Witt, Charles E. Werstak, Michael C. Amacher, Sara A. Goeking, R. Justin DeRose, Todd A. Morgan, Colin B. Sorenson, Steven W. Hayes, Jim Menlove

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This report presents a summary of the most recent inventory of Colorado’s forests based on field data collected between 2004 and 2013. The report includes descriptive highlights and tables of area, numbers of trees, biomass, carbon, volume, growth, mortality, and removals. Most sections and tables are organized by forest type or forest-type group, species group, diameter class, or owner group. The report also describes the inventory’s design, inventory terminology, and data reliability. Results show that Colorado’s forest land covers 22.9 million acres. Forty-nine percent (11.1 million acres) of this forest land is administered by the USDA Forest Service, and another 24 percent (5.6 million acres) is privately owned. The State’s most abundant forest type is pinyon/juniper, which covers more than 6 million acres. Engelmann spruce and other spruce species are the most abundant tree species by number of trees, and are also the most abundant by volume or biomass. Colorado’s forests contain 35.2 billion cubic feet of net volume in trees 5.0 inches diameter and larger. Gross growth of all live trees 5.0 inches diameter and larger averaged 559.0 million cubic feet per year. Average annual mortality totaled 704.2 million cubic feet per year, and net growth was therefore -145.2 million cubic feet per year.

Original languageEnglish
JournalUSDA Forest Service - Resource Bulletin RMRS-RB
Issue numberRMRS-RB-23
StatePublished - Mar 2017


  • Fire
  • Forest inventory
  • Forest products
  • Monitoring
  • Mortality
  • Wildlife habitat


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