Lighting up the holidays

‘Gold Star Tree of Honor’Holiday_tree

The State Capitol Holiday Tree, themed the “Gold Star Tree of Honor” to pay tribute to the more than 350 Colorado military service members lost in the global war on terror since Sept. 11, 2001, as well as their families, was lit by Gov. John Hickenlooper on Thursday, Dec. 4. The Capitol tree was provided for the fourth year in a row by the Colorado State Forest Service Fort Collins District.

Gold Star Families are the survivors of service members who have lost their lives in conflict or in support of certain military operations.

“Having recognition from the larger community for these families, at this time of year, is very important,” said Janelle Darnell, chief of protocol for the Office of The Adjutant General, Colorado Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

Colorado National Guard soldiers and their families decorated the 27-foot subalpine fir, which will be lit in a ceremony in the Capitol’s North Foyer at 3 p.m. Boughs trimmed off the tree will be used by the DMVA to craft wreaths for National Guard personnel deployed throughout the world.

Improving forest health

Each year, CSFS foresters selectively cut the Capitol Holiday Tree and smaller trees destined for the Colorado State University campus as part of ongoing management efforts to improve forest health on State Trust Land in northern Larimer County.

The CSFS is a service and outreach agency of the Warner College of Natural Resources at Colorado State University. The non-regulatory agency provides landowners with technical forestry assistance and outreach via district offices located throughout Colorado.