Feds throwing money at beetles
Summit County Correspondent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
SUMMIT COUNTY ” Congress is promising more money to help build fire breaks in forested areas hardest hit by the pine beetle. Republican Sen. Wayne Allard announced earlier this month that he has secured up to $12 million to address the bark beetle epidemic in Colorado.
“We are facing a catastrophe in Colorado and this funding could not have come at a
better time,” said Allard. “These dollars will allow the federal government, state
government and private landowners to work collaboratively to mitigate conditions to
prevent a disaster.”
While there is no stopping the march of the beetles, more money is needed to create
fire breaks ” clear-cuts in the forest ” that can help protect communities from
potential wildfires associated with dead lodgepole pines.
More funding could also help expand stewardship projects, said Sandy Briggs,
organizer of the Summit County forest health task force, explaining that the
commercial value of the timber is so low that the Forest Service in some cases needs
money to directly subsidize the needed work. On the Dillon Ranger District, covering
Summit County, the Forest Service hopes to plan and implement extensive forest
health projects in the Lower Blue Valley, north of Silverthorne, and in the Upper Blue,
In 2007, the Forest Service treated about 1,500 acres at a cost of $1.3 million. That
per-acre cost is still too high, District Ranger Rick Newton said at a recent meeting of
the forest health task force.
The unit treatment cost could come down if a new bill introduced by Rep. Mark Udall
passes muster in Congress.
Speaking during a telephone press conference this week, Udall said one of three
forest-related measures he is introducing would incentivize private companies to use
beetle-killed trees for renewable energy production.
The measure amends the broad energy bill that was recently passed by clarifiying
the definition of biomass as a renewable energy source. Udall said.
The bill could make it easier for entrepreneurs to work with the Forest Service and
local communities to gain access to beetle-killed timber.
Udall introduced another bill that would cut Forest Service red tape by reducing, and
in some cases eliminating, environmental analysis required for forest health projects.
Well aware of environmental concerns about streamlining logging proposals, Udall
said the bill is narrowly targeted to lands that are infested by beetles and within the
boundaries of a community wildfire protection plan.
Combined, Udall’s the proposed legislation would help forestall potentially serious
impacts to Colorado’s tourism industry and also protect water supplies in mountain
communities, Udall said.
Bob Berwyn can be reached at (970) 331-5996 or at email@example.com.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
La policía de Rifle necesita ayuda con denuncia de robo a mano armada en el área de descanso de Lion’s Park
Se informó de un robo a mano armada en el área de descanso de Lyons Park en Rifle poco después de la medianoche del jueves, según un comunicado de prensa del Departamento de Policía de…