Our Mission

Who We Are

The Colorado Forest Restoration Institute is a science-based outreach and engagement organization hosted by the Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship and the Warner College of Natural Resources at Colorado State University. CSU is a land-grant university with a mission to provide teaching, research, public service, and engagement that CFRI strives to uphold. We were established by Congress through the Southwest Forest Health and Wildfire Prevention Act of 2004 to serve as a bridge between researchers, managers, and stakeholders working to restore and enhance the resilience of forest ecosystems to wildfires in Colorado, the Southern Rocky Mountains, and the Intermountain West.

What We Do

We lead collaborations between researchers, managers, and stakeholders to generate and apply locally relevant, actionable knowledge to inform forest management strategies. Our work informs forest condition assessments, management goals and objectives, monitoring plans, and adaptive management processes.

Read CFRI annual reports here.

Why We Matter

We help reduce uncertainties and conflicts between managers and stakeholders, streamline planning processes, and enhance the effectiveness of forest management strategies to restore and enhance the resilience of forest ecosystems to wildfires. We complement and supplement the capacities of forest land managers to draw upon and apply locally-relevant scientific information to enhance the credibility of forest management plans. We are trusted to be rigorous and objective in integrating currently-available scientific information into forest management decision-making.

Read about all of our projects here

Our History


The Southwest Forest Health and Wildfire Prevention Act of 2004 established institutes in Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico. CFRI is chartered and housed in the Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship in the Warner College of Natural Resources at Colorado State University.


Citizen science collaborative forest reconstruction work as part of the Uncompahgre Plateau Public Lands Partnership created CFRI model of actionable knowledge.


Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program funded for Front Range and Uncompahgre Plateau. CFRI joins the partnership and engages with broader forestry and federal stakeholder groups.


Colorado Department of Natural Resources Wildfire Risk Reduction Grant Program begins and CFRI engages with non-federal land managers around the state.


Building on the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy framework, CFRI began expanding in staff and engagement across fire adapted communities and fire response actionable strategies, as well as enhancing our strength of bridging the science and management of resilient forest landscapes. Integrating across all three legs of the Cohesive Strategy opened exciting new opportunities for CFRI and our partners.


CFRI worked extensively with a range of collaborative partners to develop a locally relevant restoration framework called RMRS-GTR-373 that has become the basis of forest management on the Colorado Front Range.


The historic 2020 fire year delivered extreme fire activity in Colorado, including the largest fire on record. This increased the need for the CFRI post-fire monitoring work and expanded the scope of our research.


All three SWERI began working on a national project from the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to increase the capacity for cross-boundary forest treatment and wildfire data management and application to help managers apply more effective hazardous fuels reduction, forest restoration, and wildfire management across US forests.

Meet our Sister Organizations:

Our Staff

Leadership Team

CFRI Director Tony Cheng

Tony Cheng


Brett Wolk

Brett Wolk

Assistant Director

Camille Stevens-Rumann

Assistant Director

Mike Caggiano

Mike Caggiano

Research Associate

Marin Chambers

Marin Chambers

Research Associate

Research Associates

Research and Project Coordinators

Crew Leaders/Senior Technicians

Tori 200x200

Tori Hunter

Kelsey 200x200

Kelsey Newton


Maggie Parrish

Vausha 200x200

Vausha Snyder


Kate Weimer


Maddie Wilson


Jordyn Blaha

Malena Espinoza

Helen Flynn

Rob Gatton

Maura Gaughan

Rachel Lilley

Mark Kohn

Allison Mainiero

Anthony Martin

Sean McLennan

Robert Monahan

Josh Puyear

Megan Rosser

Stavro Tekosis

Karolina Vida

Each summer we hire undergraduate students from Colorado State University to work on our forest monitoring field crews across Colorado.