Beetle-infested trees near town to be removed |

Beetle-infested trees near town to be removed

Forest managers and a private landowner are hoping to get ahead of a bark beetle outbreak near Glenwood Springs through a cooperative helicopter logging effort.Helicopter loggers will continue to remove about 135 beetle-infested Douglas fir off the Storm King Ranch and adjacent Bureau of Land Management-administered lands northwest of Glenwood Springs today.”The key is to catch a small infestation early and remove the infested trees before the beetles emerge in the spring seeking new trees,” said Colorado State District Forester Kelly Rogers, who is working with BLM and Storm King Ranch owner Michael Carricarte on the project.Carricarte is funding the costs of the helicopter, ground crew and log hauling. The logs will be taken to a local mill in New Castle.”The bark beetle doesn’t recognize land ownership,” Carricarte said. “With a helicopter logging crew in the area finishing work near Vail, this was a great opportunity to move quickly to help get a handle on this emerging infestation.”Following the removal of the stricken trees, Carricarte, the State Forest Service and BLM will continue to work together on a five-year forest management plan for the area that would be effective beginning in 2007.”Managing the bark beetle outbreak in northwestern Colorado is a huge challenge that requires private landowners and public land managers to work together,” said BLM Glenwood Springs Field Manager Jamie Connell.”We appreciate Michael’s initiative to help keep the beetle outbreak in check.”BLM anticipates releasing an Environmental Assessment this winter on the cooperative five-year management plan for the forest.

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