Friday, February 18, 2011

Colorado: Beetles toppling 100,000 trees a day

Colorado can expect bigger, hotter wildfires that burn longer as trees killed by pine beetles tip over, foresters said Wednesday. The spruce beetle outbreak in southern Colorado nearly doubled in size last year to 208,000 acres, according to the 2010 Report on the Health of Colorado’s Forests. The outbreak is centered on the high-altitude forests north of Pagosa Springs. Farther north, pine beetles have torn through a 180-mile-by-140-mile swath of lodgepole pines, said Tony Dixon, the Forest Service’s deputy regional forester for the Rocky Mountains. The dead tree trunks left over after the multiple bug outbreaks are quickly becoming a prime concern for foresters. An estimated 100,000 dead trees fall in the pine beetle zone every day, Dixon said. A wildfire in the dead zone might be too dangerous to fight because firefighters might not be able to go into the area because of the hazard of falling trees, said State Forester Jeff Jahnke...more


Anonymous said...

The FS believes it is better for beetles to kill the trees, than have foresters do selective logging which helps stimulate the economy and the forest. What a bunch of ninnies.

Nicole said...

I completely agree with you. My husband was a logger and was working a contract for pine beetle and lodgepole in Summit County. They got shut down because of all of the uninformed hippies and yuppies up there, thinking that they were clear cutting, rather than trying to stimulate the forest health and growth for the trees that weren't already dead. One good fire is all it's going to take to burn down our once beautiful state now because the FS won't take care of it.