Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., on Tuesday urged the head of the U.S. Forest Service and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to rework timber sale contracts for logging on federal lands so that three financially struggling Colorado sawmills can stay afloat.
Posts Tagged mountain pine bark beetle
Concern about an early and potentially explosive wildfire season in Colorado has fanned the flames of debate over how far into the national forest crews should build temporary roads to clear trees and reduce the fuel load around towns. The release last week of another draft of the controversial Colorado Roadless Rule further fueled the controversy. The rule would allow temporary road building a half mile into the national forest surrounding communities and tree thinning without roads another mile into the forest.
The U.S. Forest Service Friday released the results of new aerial mapping showing the mountain pine bark beetle epidemic raging since the mid 1990s has now consumed more than 4 million acres of pine trees in Colorado and southern Wyoming. In Colorado alone, more than 400,000 acres of trees were killed last year, mostly in the Arapaho, White River, Roosevelt, Medicine Bow and Routt national forests.
Citing last month’s wildfires near Boulder and Loveland and the ongoing Church’s Park Fire in Grand County, U.S. Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet are asking U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to treat the pine bark beetle epidemic…
In the end, it may not be NIMBYism or environmentalist objections to producing power by burning trees that dooms Vail’s proposed biomass power plant. It may just be a simple lack of funding.
Sen. Mark Udall promised to keep battling for beetle kill funding Friday after his bid for $50 million in emergency funds for the Forest Service and National Park Service was rejected as an amendment to the emergency supplemental bill.
Backers of biofuel and biopower see the millions of lodgepole pine trees killed by the Rocky Mountain bark beetle epidemic as a source of carbon-neutral power. Their efforts to turn the devastation into usable energy may take off if Congress passes a bill floated by Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Udall late last week.
One of the least-publicized aspect of the mountain pine bark beetle epidemic, which has decimated nearly 2 million acres of trees in Colorado, is the threat it poses to the region’s power grid. Whole mountainsides of dead and toppling trees throughout the state raise the specter of disaster on the scale of the great Northeast Blackout of 2003.
In what the Pew Environment Group has dubbed “Unofficial Colorado Roadless Week,” opponents of the state’s controversial policy aimed at protecting 4.4 million acres of mostly undeveloped public lands will converge on Denver’s Civic Center Park at noon on…
The state’s largest ski-resort operator will pony up three-quarters of a million bucks over the next three years to help restore forests damaged in the state’s largest wildfire – the devastating, 138,000-acre Hayman blaze of 2002.