Beetle-Kill Trees Left Standing, State Foresters Report

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A report on the health of Colorado’s forests centers on dealing with dead trees as a result of beetles.

Roughly one-fifth of Colorado's forestland has seen the effects of widespread tree mortality over the past two decades due to infestation, according to the state forest service.

For the sixth year in a row, spruce beetle continues to be the most threatening. Pike National Forest also sees the effects of the Douglas-fir beetle. 

The use of beetle-kill wood by sawmills and other businesses still leaves many dead trees standing, says Joe Duda, deputy state forester.

"The scale of the problem in Colorado is so large, we're not able to effectively use all the timber on the lands that we need to harvest,” says Duda.

He says the state forest service is trying to make timber available to more wood users and biomass plants. The agency is also focusing on thinning treatments and mitigating infestation.