With two beetle-kill epidemics in the last 20 years, the devastation to the tree population throughout Colorado is shockingly evident, destroying almost 3.4 million acres, and igniting catastrophic fires throughout the state. In an attempt to mitigate catastrophic wildfires, the forest products industry has been essential in trying to harvest as much beetle kill [as allowed].
These barren forests have created a harsh reality that has forced perspectives to change – as the State and Federal Forest Service have begun to work with the forest products industry. There is no understating that the industry is a key element, vital for reducing the fuel load, securing economic value in the timber and locking up carbon emissions that would otherwise be released when decomposed.
As the constant battle with beetle-kill continues in the Grand Mesa Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests, there is a clear message that the State and Federal Forest Service share with the industry: collaborative stewardship is essential to the livelihood of the forests.
Molly Pitts - Executive Director, Colorado Timber Industry Association
JT Shaver - CO State Forest Service
Amy Lockner - Forest Entomologist
Matt McCombs - Regional Forest Service , Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests
Tim Kyllo- Resource Forester, Montrose Forest Products
Patt Dorsey- Turkey Wildlife Conservation