Pine beetle guide for homeowners
This summer’s pine beetle infestation already has homeowners busy cutting trees and protecting their neighborhoods from the potential for fire, but it’s obvious that not everyone is helping the situation.This week, we received a call from a Breckenridge woman, who said after they stacked the cut trees in their front yard, some hauled the wood away to use as firewood. When they approached the culprits, the log-stealers denied it would have any impact to their neighborhood and, “They were just doing their job.”Compare this with another story, where a man said they accidentally stored a beetle-infested log in their garage last summer, and after killing hundreds of dead beetles, it was December.These are resilient bugs, and once the beetle-kill trees have been cut, they need to be disposed of properly – by destroying the trees. If the tree is dead and showing obvious signs of exit wounds, it will not be problematic. If the tree is still alive, and the bugs have not exited the tree, it could be in its most dangerous condition.The idea is to keep the bugs from spreading unnecessarily, even though much of the infestation is outside human control. But neighborhoods that are bug-free should be aware not to store beetle-infested trees for firewood, or to buy beetle-infested wood from irresponsible companies, as they will unknowingly have brought the plague into close range.Luckily, our Pine Beetle Task Force is working hard to produce a guide for homeowners, which spells out everything from the impact to National Forest land, to how homeowners can spray to prevent further infestation. The print edition will publish in the Summit Daily on Friday, June 8, but the online section is currently live at http://www.summitdaily.com/pinebeetle. We encourage everyone to use this as a resource and, if the opportunity presents itself, to thank the Pine Beetle Task Force, including Sandy Briggs and Howard Hallman for all their work in producing the guide, as well as Rick Newton with the U.S. Forest Service, Summit’s fire mitigation officer Patti Maguire, and Summit’s noxious weed expert, Lisa Taylor, as well as all the contributors, advertisers and sponsors displayed inside.
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