Coniferous trees cover about 52,000 acres of the State Forest. Those trees
include sub-alpine fir, Englemann spruce, lodgepole pine, Douglas fir, Colorado
blue spruce, Ponderosa Pine and limber pine. The lodgepole pine is the most
common, covering about 60 percent of all tree cover with the spruce and fir
community accounting for 23 percent. The remaining 17 percent of cover is
deciduous aspen forests.
An intensive effort to protect this natural resource is at the forefront of
the State Forest management plan, check out the pine
beetle epidemic document.
A major fire burned a great deal of the forest about 130 years ago. Most
lodgepole pine sites were burned. The stands that escaped the fire are a source
of dwarf mistletoe infection in young trees.
In Coniferous forests, kinnikinnik, vaccinium, common juniper, rose and
Oregon grape are common plants found.
In the aspen forest, the typical plant species are daisy, common juniper,
smooth brome, mountain muhley, squaw current, fescue, golden banner and yarrow.
A shrub zone is also found on south and southwest exposures as well as flat
areas that receive sun throughout the day. Common plants include bitterbrush,
big sagebrush, rabbitbrush, prickly pear, serviceberry, blue grama, sedge and
A riparian zone occurs along the streams, where willows are the predominant
vegetation. Other species include chokecherry, horsetail, sedge and squaw
In the tundra above timberline, the alpine will explode with color as the
flowers burst into bloom in June and July. The yellow snow buttercup, white
marshmarigold, blue alpine forget-me-not, moss campion, rydbergia, fairy
primrose and many more create a spectacular alpine flower garden.