Bark beetle costs rising
ASPEN – The cost of fighting bark beetles is rising.
Forest supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams tells the Aspen Times that the White River National Forest spent $10.4 million last year to deal with consequences of the bark beetle infestation that has ravaged lodgepole pine trees.
The White River’s operating budget has remained flat over the last decade. Additional funds have been received the last three years to deal specifically with beetle mitigation.
The agency says work must be done in 11 ski areas, 119 developed campgrounds and recreation sites, and along some 560 miles of trails and 1,400 miles of roads, according to a forest service report. Another 450 miles of power transmission lines in the forest are also threatened by falling trees, the agency said.
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Are we seeing more bears because there are more bears on the valley floor, or because we’re all spending more time at home? It could be a bit of both.