Salazar adds $30M for beetle treatment to spending bill |

Salazar adds $30M for beetle treatment to spending bill

Logger Zane Younglund cuts the limbs off of a lodgepole pine tree so that it can be pulled out of the woods by a tractor, as part of an effort to stem the spread of bark beetles, Friday, April 28, 2006, at the Steamboat Ski Area on Mount Werner in Steamboat Springs, Colo. An estimated 1,500 pine trees will be removed from the slopes of Steamboat Ski Area before mid-June as part of a collaborative effort between Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. and the U.S. Forest Service to combat a bark beetle infestation that began nine years ago. The infestation is ravaging much of Western Colorado and the western United States. (AP Photo/Steamboat Pilot & Today, John F. Russell)

WASHINGTON – Senators on Tuesday agreed to a proposal by Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., to add $30 million to fight bark beetles to an emergency spending bill.

The beetles, which are chewing through acres and acres of trees in the West, and drought have created fuel for forest fires. Salazar said about 35,000 acres in Colorado are expected to be treated to reduce fire danger this year, but another 47,000 acres need work.The $30 million added to the spending bill would go toward reducing fire hazards from bark beetles across the country.

The spending bill originally was intended to provide emergency money for the Iraq war, hurricane relief and to combat avian flu. Senators have been locked in debate for days about whether to add several other projects to the package even though President Bush has promised to veto the bill if it contains more than what he proposed spending.The Senate is expected to vote on the bill Wednesday.

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