Assessment of the Potential Environmental Impact of a Green Ash Borer Infestation in Denver, Colorado

Date of Award


Document Type

Capstone Project


Environmental Policy & Mgmt

Degree Name

Master of Applied Science


Environmental Policy & Mgmt


Kathy Flanagan


Ash Borer Infestation; Ash Infestation; Emerald Ash Borer; Environmental Impact Green Ash Borer; Impact of a Green Ash Borer; Infestation in Denver; Infestation in Denver Colorado


The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) threatens forest resources in the US. This paper investigates the potential environmental impacts of an 85% ash species population reduction due to an A. planipennis infestation in Denver. Two sample inventories targeting ash species trees were taken: a complete sample and a subsample. This data was entered into the iTree STRATUM modeling application to quantify the resource function, structure, and value of the sample populations. The change in environmental benefits and values evident when comparing the complete sample population and the subsample population represents the change in environmental impacts an EAB infestation would exhibit on Denver's ecosystem. Results indicate increased energy consumption, reduced air quality, increased stormwater runoff, reduced carbon cycling, and reduced aesthetics in the sample area.

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