State, fed agencies outline a plan to fight bark beetles | SummitDaily.com

State, fed agencies outline a plan to fight bark beetles

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

DENVER – Gov. Bill Ritter assembled a coalition of state and federal advisers on Tuesday to coordinate the fight against a devastating mountain pine beetle epidemic.The 24-member council will also help implement wildfire protection plans, look into why aspen trees are in decline and find ways to support reforestation on the state’s 22.6 million acres of forest.Ritter said there is no way to stop the beetle infestation, which has destroyed more than 1.5 million acres of lodge pole pines over the past decade and could wipe them out in three to five years.But he said the state and federal government can protect communities and help homeowners.”The landscape is and will be altered. It will be important for us to engage in some kind of defense,” Ritter said.