The Rocky Mountain Chapter can trace its roots to the early 1970’s as an organization known as the Shade Tree Association of Mountain States (STAMS) that was affiliated with the Midwest Chapter of the International Shade Tree Conference. In 1975, the International Shade Tree Conference was reorganized as the International Society of Arboriculture, and STAMS was reorganized as ISA’s Rocky Mountain Chapter (RMC). In 1981, the RMC hired a part-time Executive Secretary to establish a permanent office and conduct the administrative and business affairs of the Chapter. Then on May 15, 1985, the RMC was incorporated as a non-profit corporation with a 501(c)(6) status, in the State of Colorado.
The RMC originally was comprised of six states: Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. In 1991, the Chapter created State Coordinator positions on the Board of Directors to expand the educational opportunities offered to members within each of RMC’s six states. By the year 1998, Idaho voted to join the Pacific Northwest Chapter and in 2000, Utah formed its own chapter.
In 2001, the RMC included four states, (Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, and Wyoming) with the majority of members residing along Colorado’s Front Range. Each state now has a voting Director on the RMC Board so as to better represent each state’s members. Membership is comprised of individuals whose profession is related to arboriculture, both in the public and private sector. It includes commercial, utility, municipal arborists, as well as members involved in state extension work, state and federal forestry departments, private consultants, educators, researchers and others.
The RMC has sponsored national and international educational events, such as the National Urban Tree Symposia (NUTS I, II, and III). The RMC hosted ISA’s Annual International Conference in Keystone, Colorado in 1987 and in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1997. The Chapter held its first Tree Climbing Championship (Jamboree) in 1983 at Denver, Colorado’s Cheeseman Park.
Through its quarterly publication, Tree Leaves, the RMC communicates with its members with information regarding upcoming events, timely technical articles, and other Chapter news. In 2006, the RMC’s publication was renamed the Rocky Mountain Arborist.
Today the RMC Board of Directors is comprised of fifteen members and meets quarterly to conduct Chapter business at a staffed RMC office.