David Root is not your average Colorado State employee. Coming up on his 25-year milestone, Root spends his days in the Woodland Park Wilderness as a member of the Colorado State Forest Service. An outdoorsman at heart, and a professional people and land manager, Root claims that his time working for Colorado State has flown by, but been an incredible experience.
“There is no typical day in the work of a forester,” Root explains. “I love that there can be such variety in what we do. Whether it be in the office, working with people to manage land, or out in the field, this job provides so much flexibility and variation daily.”
Root found his passion for forestry when he spent a summer working in the mountains for the Colorado State Forest Service and discovered how much he enjoyed the work foresters do on a daily basis. He eventually returned to CSU to receive his master’s degree, and a few short years later was offered a position working for the service in Woodland Park, and has been there ever since.
He was hugely influential in saving Colorado State land during the Black Forest fire of 2014. One of his favorite parts of the job is being able to take unmanaged property, visualize its future, and create an end product that is not only better for the land but for the animals that live on it as well. Root loves knowing that the final product will be something that has the potential to invoke and help other growth within the natural environment.
“Some days you can be out in the field meeting land owners, and others you may be sitting in the office writing press releases or a community wildfire protection plan, but I think that is one of the best parts of this job, having the ability to connect with others and work with the community,” he said.
Local wildfire protection plans are created by foresters like Root, who bases the plan on issues such as wildfire response, hazard mitigation, community preparedness, or structure protection based on the needs of the people within the community. This takes on many forms, but works as a tool to help civilians manage and understand how to react in a natural disaster.
Root’s work with the Colorado State Forest Service has exponential impacts on our current state land, and how we interact with it regularly. It is through the maintenance, upkeep and planning that we get to experience our backyard wilderness in such a positive way, while enjoying all it has to offer.
In his spare time, Root enjoys hiking, being outdoors, and spending time with close friends and family.
Colorado State University employees achieving a decade of service or more this year will be honored at the annual Celebrate! CSU Milestones event, which recognizes those faculty and staff who have reached these major career milestones, Thursday, April 28, at 4 p.m. in the LSC Grand Ballroom.