Pine Beetle Task Force prepares for busy season |

Pine Beetle Task Force prepares for busy season


With summer fast approaching and with it, the imminent flight of the pine beetle, the Summit County Mountain Pine Beetle Task Force is conducting early morning gatherings twice a month to identify ways to cope with the increasing die-off of lodgepole pine, the dominant tree species in the Blue River basin. Its May 18 meeting in Frisco brought together a diverse group and covered a wide range of topics. The Sierra Club’s Adriana Raudzens related her environmental organization’s concern about the increased risk of fire in urban-wildland interface areas caused by bark beetle infestations. Counties having Community Wildfire Protection Plans in place should have priority in receiving the proper authorization from the Forest Service as well as the necessary funding from the Federal government to support timely fire- mitigation projects. Forest Service representatives Cary Green and Phil Bowden described a number of procedural obstacles that could delay start of work around the Dillon Reservoir. Bowden also addressed the difficulty of identifying long-term solutions for an infestation that will continue for many years. Rob Young discussed efforts that he has made in coping with pine beetle infestation on his Grand County ranch. He has taken several trips to British Columbia to learn from experts fighting bark beetles in that massively impacted area. He expressed concern about the economic viability of harvesting infected trees, and being able to find the best use for their wood. The June 1 meeting will feature a presentation by Cary Green detailing the US Forest Service’s priorities for fire and beetle mitigation projects in Summit County.For more information, visit

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