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Colorado's forgotten forest?

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Recent research suggests that most beetle-hit lodgepole pine forests are recovering about as expected. But other Colorado forest types have also suffered the effects of drought and insect infestation — and the outlook for recovery is not as clear.



Screaming Trees

A growing beetle infestation is killing the forests of western Colorado. To some, it's the unassailable evidence of the shifting climate. So why are there so few calls for action either there or in Washington?


Mountain pine beetle activity on the decline

Editor's note: This is the fourth weekly installment in a series on how Summit County is addressing the threat of wildfire through the Summit Wildfire Council, comprised of public-lands managers, fire departments, county and town officials, state forestry agents, neighborhood groups, local businesses and private citizens.

The bad news is that many of our trees are dead and dying, as seen in those distinctive red and gray stands of lodgepole pines throughout Summit County and beyond.

The good news is that the culprit — a beetle the size of a pencil eraser — finally is eating itself out of house and home.

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Summit Outside: the biology behind the lodgepole pine's blue stain

The term symbiosis comes from the Ancient Greek “syn” — “with” — and “bíosis” — “living” — and is the close and often long-term interactions between different biological species. Often this interaction is obligate, in that neither can live without the other. One classic example is the lichen, a combination of a fungus and green algae. The fungus provides the housing (protection from the elements), and their food is made by the algae via the sun and its photosynthetic capabilities.

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Colorado State Forest Service seedling trees available

Summit County Extension is now accepting applications on a first-come, first-serve basis for low-cost seedling trees and shrubs from the Colorado State Forest Service Nursery in Fort Collins. The CSFS seedling tree program provides an affordable way to reforest and diversify Colorado landscapes using native seedlings.

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Forest Health Task Force Talks Sustainability

November 21, 2012

Among climate change concerns and efficient forest health management, members of Forest Health Task Force focused the discussion of the Nov. 15 meeting around developing sustainable markets for beetle affected timber.


Piehl & Hallman: Climate change, forest health & wildfires

October 10, 2012

It doesn't take a scientist to understand the connection between climate and forest fires. Last spring was hot and dry, which resulted in a dry forest that burned. This should not surprise us. What is surprising is the pace of climate change and the damage it has had on our forests and communities.  Read The full article here >

Towns, county on alert for high water in Summit County

As the peak runoff time approaches, county and town governments are keeping a close eye on rivers and streams and trying to be as prepared as possible for the rising waters expected soon.

Stream flows are still at or below average for this time of year, meaning the snow pack — which exceeded averages by up to 500 percent this year in some areas — is still up on the mountains with the heaviest runoff is yet to come.

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Breckinridge Gets Its 1st LEED Gold Home

Summit County, Colorado, has its first LEED Gold certified residence – Sunshine Ridge, designed by Breckenridge architect Michael F. Gallagher –  which recently received Mountain Living Magazine‘s Peak Award.

Local factors definitely had an impact on the construction of this home, commissioned by an Oklahoma family for their land outside of Breckenridge. For instance, beetle-killed pine trees from the site that got cut down during construction were exchanged at the mill for processed beetle-killed lumber, which was then used for the exterior wood cladding and decking...

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CU comes to town March 18 with beetle talk

CU-Boulder comes to town on March 18 as part of an outreach tour in the Central Rocky Mountains. The topic is near if not dear to Summit County residents' hearts: the pine beetle.

From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Beaver Run Resort and Conference Center in Breckenridge, Chancellor Philip DiStefano and professor Jeffry Mitton host a presentation titled “Causes and Consequences: Colorado and the Pine Beetle.” The talk is about the unprecedented epidemic of mountain pine beetles that has taken over forests in the Mountain West, with some discussion of why it's occurring.

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