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Selling the Beetle Kill

Summit County's Forest Health Task Force has long had the idea to bring blue-stained lodgepole pine products together into a catalog and brand it as a marketable building supply.The trouble is, the idea has taken shape, but the funding has not. With a goal of finding end uses for the millions of dead and dying trees in Colorado forests (estimated at more than 3 million acres affected by the pine beetle epidemic), Howard Hallman and the task force, a program of the Greenlands Reserve, have hatched the plan to create a user-friendly catalog of green, renewable products with architects, builders, developers and interior designers in mind.

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Foliage Viewers Impacted By Pine Beetle Work

SILVERTHORNE, Colo. -- The idyllic tranquility normally found in the mountains could be disrupted by the whine of chainsaws in Summit and Eagle counties for the next few weeks. People who travel to the alpine to view fall foliage are being alerted that many of their favorite trails or U.S. Forest Service roads could be closed or impacted due to beetle kill mitigation work.

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A flurry of forest projects in progress, on the way

SUMMIT COUNTY — As the mountain pine beetle continues its march across Summit County's forests, the Dillon Ranger District is following diligently in its path. Forest Service officials have more than a dozen projects on the way or already under way to reduce risks from fire and falling trees and to accelerate forest regrowth.

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Vail Resorts launches forest restoration

VAIL, Colorado — More than 80 Vail Resorts employees rolled up their sleeves Monday to plant willows and reseed native vegetation in an area devastated by the 2002 Hayman fire. The reforestation work was the first of several volunteer days the company is contributing toward the $4 million Hayman Restoration Project, aimed at undoing the damage created by Colorado's largest-ever wildfire.

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Study shows low awareness of fire risks in Red Zone

Many people buying mountain homes for the first time do not fully understand the wildfire risks in the wildland-urban interface zone, according to a U.S. Forest Service study conducted in the Colorado Springs area. The study is posted in a Scribd.com window at the end of the story.

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USFS releases study on Breckenridge logging project

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — The U.S. Forest Service has released its environmental analysis for the Breckenridge Forest Health and Fuels project, proposing extensive clear-cutting and other treatments across about 5,600 acres of public national forest land around the town.

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Teaming up for watershed protection in Colorado

SUMMIT COUNTY — Denver Water and the U.S. Forest Service will join forces to treat about 38,000 acres of critical watersheds to try and prevent catastrophic damage to key streams and reservoirs, top officials announced Saturday, speaking at a press conference at the Dillon Marina, within sight of Denver Water’s largest mountain reservoir.

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Camping? Watch those fires

The Dillon Ranger District rated fire danger in Summit County forests as “moderate” Friday, but officials are nonetheless urging campers, hikers and other national forest visitors to exercise great caution.

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Lodgepole regeneration will benefit lynx

If there’s a silver lining to the pine beetle storm clouds sweeping Colorado forests, it may be for the threatened Canada lynx. The rare cats depend on snowshoe hares as their most important source of food, and as dead lodgepole pine forests grow back over the next few decades, they will provide vast new areas of good hare habitat, at least temporarily.

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Summit lawmakers head to D.C. for forest health funds

Summit County's state lawmakers are in the nation's capital today, testifying in support of legislation that would provide funding to address the mountain bark beetle epidemic. State Sen. Dan Gibbs and State Rep. Christine Scanlan, both of whom represent Summit County, are lobbying U.S. senators in hopes of drumming up millions of dollars for western forests through the National Forest Insect and Disease Emergency Act.

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