Vail to cut trees to limit danger from bark beetles |

Vail to cut trees to limit danger from bark beetles

VAIL ” Up to 7,000 lodgepole pines will be cut down at the Vail Mountain resort to reduce the risk that a tree killed by beetles could damage a ski gondola by falling or catching fire.

Vail Resorts spokeswoman Jen Brown said crews will cut down every lodgepole bigger than 5 inches in diameter in a 16-acre area. The resort covers nearly 5,300 acres.

The work is expected to be done over the next month. Spruce, fir and aspen will not be cut.

Brown says the area will remain open to skiers after the logging work.

A bark beetle infestation has already killed about 1.5 million acres ” or about 2,300 square miles ” of lodgepole pines in Colorado. The U.S. Forest Service predicts that beetles will kill most of the state’s lodgepoles within five years.

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