Roundtable - August, 2009

The task force is in the process of creating a best practices document for local tree service companies drawing upon recommendations from long-standing providers and government agencies.  
 
According to a number of observers, the 2009 pine beetle flight has maxed out at a much lower level than seen in previous years.
 
Jami Harmon, Town of Frisco events coordinator, announced that its 2009 BeetleFest event on September 12 still has room for additional exhibitors marketing beetle kill wood products. Booth space is complementary and vendors are exempt from local and state sales tax. Applications are available on the town’s website. For information, call 970-668-5278 or 970-668-3074.
 
State Senator Dan Gibbs, who is also the county’s new fire mitigation officer, reviewed legislation passed during the 2009 legislative session that will help fund wildfire mitigation and watershed protection projects over the next three years. In addition, he unveiled a series of interpretive signs sponsored by the county and its fire protection districts to educate the public about forest health issues.
 
Lyle Laverty reported on legislation before the Congress. Biomass now will be included in the definition of a renewable energy resource in the energy bill. The FLAME Act, which would remover the  cost of fire suppression activity from the Forest Service annual operating budget, would have a tremendous impact on the agency’s ability to run programs, including those promoting forest health.
 
Dennis Anderson of Anderson Custom Homes described the investments he has made in using beetlekill wood in the construction of log homes. He is certified to grade such wood for structural use and has a sawmill on site.  He reports that a Colorado blue stain log home council is being organized. Dennis may be reached at 303-570-1243 as well as This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
 
Amanda Bucknam from the Colorado State Forest Service announced the creation of a revolving loan fund for forest businesses covering a 15 county area impacted by bark beetle infestation. Applications are due in September. Call her at 970-491-0801 for details.
 
The next Forest Heath Task Force roundtable will take place from 7:30 to 9:00 am, Thursday, September 10, 2009 in the Frisco Community Center at 110 Third Avenue South, Frisco.