Silviculture Contracting | Stand Exams

Southwestern Colorado

Professional Silviculture Services


Stand Exams Measure:


– Stocking

– Age Classes

– Disease Load

– Regeneration/Regrowth

Stand exams are surveys meant to give a general picture of the structure and health of a forest’s trees.

The measurements we are looking at for a stand exam can change based on your goals. We can do everything from a very simple stand exam, looking at a few metrics or complex stand exams, looking at everything from canopy cover to fuel loading, and more.



Stocking is a measure of how much space timber takes up within a stand. Overstocked stands can lead to several hazards including increased risk for disease loads and fire.

Age classes – typically the more diverse a forest is the more resilient it is. With plantation foresters being the exception, most landowners try to create a multi-class forest on their land. This means having young, medium, and older age trees all represented in the stand. 


Disease Load – Trees can be weakened and killed by all sorts of disease vectors, from fungi to parasitic plants, to insects. Understanding what specific biological factors are negatively impacting your trees can help you come up with a forestry plan to reduce mortality and foster a healthier stand.



Regeneration refers to the success of very young trees (seedlings and saplings) in establishing themselves on the forest floor. Adequate regeneration is essential for the long-term viability of forests.


Stand exams can be used for important decision-making regarding your forest. Information gleaned from stand exams can help you manage your forest whether your goals are to enhance resilience, increase timber productivity, create wildlife habitat, or all of the above.

Meet Our Forestry Technicians 

Tara Harris

Tara Harris

Forestry Technician/Wildlife Specialist

After getting her B.S. in Natural Resources Management from Eastern Kentucky University, Tara spent five years working for Public Lands Agencies  (US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management) in Colorado, Idaho and South Dakota. She started working with San Juan Wildlife Services in early 2020. Tara brings with her an extensive background in surveying and field research.



Tara's past Forestry experiences:
  • Performed stand exams for pre and post timber sale monitoring
  • Surveyed, ran transects, and GPS recorded areas of pine beetle damage in Ponderosa pine forests and spruce budworm damage in spruce/fir forests
  • Marked, painted boundary, cruised and GPS recorded units for timber sales and pre-commercial
    thinning contracts (working primarily with aspen, spruce/fir and ponderosa pine)
  • Independently adjusted unit boundaries and non-cutting patches within timber sales based on silvicultural prescriptions and NEPA regulations
  • Used ArcGIS to manage data, build maps for field use and NEPA use, plan navigation routes to field points and track seasonal work flow progress
Tara's other natural resource experiences:


  • Performed Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring strategy (AIM) for terrestrial systems, implementing core methods including: Line Point Intercept (LPI) with plant heights, Gap intercept, species richness, soil surface aggregate stability, and plot characterization including detailed soil pit, plot observations and photos
  • Monitored forage utilization, sagebrush canopy cover and age-class, prairie dog burrow counts, and collection of soil cores
  • Assessed riparian reaches for Proper Functioning Condition (PFC)
  • Collected bumble bee and bee habitat data to assess species distribution and habitat associations, and to inventory for species considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act
  • Surveyed prairie dog populations and compared historic data to look at trends and movements over time
  • Conducted waterfowl surveys to observe species use of two BLM reservoirs. Learned to correctly identify  over forty species and their calls
  • Assisted district fisheries biologist in prairie stream monitoring. Used water quality meters to test for PH and conductivity, aided with sein netting to capture and identify stream species, determined channel depth/width ratio in order to look at changes in fish habitat conditions over time, and operated TOTAL station and prism poles to track elevation changes in the stream
  • Conducted Goshawk nesting surveys & White Headed Woodpecker nesting surveys
  • Assisted Wildlife Biologist in conducting night-time Flammulated Owl surveys
  • Used Google Earth in conjunction with ArcGIS and other database platforms for route planning and past year references and comparisons of trails, roads, fences, and vegetation
Griffin Harris

Griffin Harris

Forestry Technician

After getting his B.A. in Environmental Studies from Amherst College, Griffin spent five years working for the US Forest Service in Colorado, Idaho and South Dakota. We brought him on our team because of his extensive background in Forestry. Griffin has experience in both pre-sale timber management and silviculture.



Griffin's Past Forestry Experience
  • Served as a crew member or crew lead on two of the highest production districts in the US Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Region
  • Performed the on-the-ground work to prepare several thousand acres of timber sales, pre-commercial thinning contracts, timber stand improvement (TSI) contracts, and fuel reduction contracts
  • Measured and analyzed heights, diameters, canopy cover, regeneration rates, fuel loading and more as part of Forest Inventory Analysis (FIA)-type plots
  • Inspected work done by independent forestry contractors to ensure silvicultural guidelines were met
  • Certified Type-II Wildland Firefighter

Stand Exam Inquiry

You may also contact us by phone

970-426-5591 | 970-570-9922