Daily Editorial: A clear-cut solution | VailDaily.com

Daily Editorial: A clear-cut solution

Vail Daily Editorial Board
Vail CO, Colorado

Not long ago, it seemed that the bark beetle and the trees they kill were limited to just Vail. Now there are brown patches of dead trees nearr Minturn, Eagle-Vail, and in the forest surrounding the Beaver Creek Resort.

The Forest Service is trying to save our forest from this historically natural phenomenon that threatens to kill nine out of 10 lodgepole pines in our forest. A new plan calls for clearing away 2,300 acres of trees around Indian Creek north of Vail and the West Grouse, Tigiwon and Yoder areas south of Minturn along Highway 24.

Much of the effort to remove beetle-killed trees up until this point has been aimed at clearing away fire-ready trees from near homes.

But Forest Service officials say we also need to protect our important watersheds ” our rivers and streams that make this place a vibrant and healthy place for humans and animals alike.

Removing the trees now also would allow the Forest Service to sell the still-usable wood. That in turn would help fund the costly tree-removal plan.

Clearing away thousands of acres of forest that don’t abut homes may seem extreme. But in the grand scheme of things, 2,300 acres isn’t that much. Clear-cutting trees falling victim to the beetle also would provide room for new, beetle-resistant trees to come in instead.

We can’t defeat the bark beetle ” only Mother Nature can provide the cold, harsh winters we need to kill the bug off. But we can do our part to protect those things we value most.

” Tamara Miller for the Editorial Board

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