Skip to comments.New beetle invasion may end in sad song for trees on mesa ( Eco-nut lawyers vs foresters )
Posted on 05/08/2006 7:17:26 AM PDT by george76
While beetles at low levels always exist on Grand Mesa National Forest, some foresters worry the area may be on the verge of a beetle disaster.
Its at the edge of possibly blowing up and killing a lot of trees, said forester Kitty Tattersall of the Paonia and Grand Valley ranger districts. Were worried it could become a problem.
Mostly, foresters are concerned about the spruce beetle, whose outbreaks are normally triggered by blowdowns.
Last October, violent winds toppled trees near the Alexander Lake area on the mesa, creating the potential for a spruce beetle epidemic.
Spruce beetles usually emerge two years after the event that triggers the beetle outbreak.
By June 2008, Tattersall said, the adult beetles should be ready to find new, healthy trees to infect.
It usually takes a week for a spruce beetle to find a new host, and with winds, the beetle can fly up to 40 miles from its host tree, according to officials with Colorado State University.
The Forest Service has begun an environmental process to analyze the effects of removing the trees for timber sale to interested mills. Most likely, those mills interested in purchasing the timber will be those located nearby on the Western Slope.
Were fortunate to have timber mills of decent size near the forest, Tattersall said, adding it could make removal of the trees easier and more timely. Our hope is to get most of those downed trees out before June of 2008.
Lawsuits, however, could slow the process.
Tattersall said environmental groups opposed to the sale could take the Forest Service to court, thereby slowing the removal of the downed trees.
Then we would be delayed, and the beetles would be starting into things, she said.
Currently, the situation on Grand Mesa has been classified at a manageable level.
Active management of these trees will make a difference, Tattersall said.
If you have millions of beetles, its hard to stop them, but if you get the beetles out from the blowdown, you can get them out and keep them out.
One word: Malathion..........
Either there are private sector jobs removing commercially valuable trees for homes, newspaper pulp... now.
or government fire fighting jobs later at tax payer expense.
The massive fires can later blow up to cause air polution, ash water pollution that will hurt fish...and destruction of organic material in the soil.
The eco-nut lawyers will choose the more personally profitable "science by lawsuit."
These eco nut lawyers should be sent to jail if they live a house which has any wood product to build the house or if their law firms use paper for their bs law suits.
About three years ago the pine bark borer destroyed vast pine tree growth in East Tennessee. The years of drought coupled with very mild winters allowed the beatles to survive in great numbers.
Pine forests on both private and public propert were decimated as the pine trees died. One very visible tract owned by a timber company with hundreds of acres of pine trees was literally destroyed in a few months.
The economic total cost was very large and should not be discounted as envirowack.
The dead trees proved to be a hazard because they fell on the hiway right of way. The cost to taxpayers for clearing the dead trees from the hiway rights of way was immense.
Allowing good, commercially viable trees to rot after the beetles have killed the trees is no way to manage a valuable resource.
The good jobs from forestry are wasted. Those jobs would have paid their payroll taxes, businesss taxes, the extraction fees to the government...
Instead the taxpayers buy/maintain/gas airplanes and helicopters to drop expensive water and slurry onto the massive fires, buy trucks and other equipment to fight future massive fires, pay the fire fighters their wages...
Those trees could have provided homes for families...
The list go on and on.
Of course, DDT is out of the question.
I think the beetle dead trees might be very good for wood pellets, i.e. biofuel. One way or the other, they will burn.
You neglected to include the infamous spotted owl. ;)
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