Colorado Senators Ask USDA for Beetle Kill Funds

Beetle kill trees near Grand Lake, CO. Other western states with beetle problems include ID, WA, OR, and MT, but Colorado is considered the epicenter of the outbreak.

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators has asked the Forest Service to devote $49 million to battle a beetle infestation that has killed more than 3.5 million acres of pines in the Rocky Mountain region.

Senators from Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota and Nebraska asked Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in a letter last week to redirect existing funds to treat forests hit by the bark beetle.

Colorado Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet said the Forest Service should treat the infestation as a national emergency because of the potential for wildfires and threats to public safety, recreation and waterways.

“The bark beetle has created a national emergency, and work to protect public safety, infrastructure and human lives should be funded as such,” the Senators wrote. “Therefore, we encourage the USFS to supplement Region 2 funding to adequately address this disaster, which is decimating the West.”

(Image: StuffEyeSee)

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