Ritter seeks federal funds for Colorado bark beetle battle
DENVER, Colorado ” Gov. Bill Ritter hopes Colorado will receive part of $175 million in new federal funds to help fight the state’s bark beetle infestation.
Ritter has asked the U.S. Forest Service for a “significant portion” of the funds to be set aside for wildfire prevention and forest heath. He wrote in a letter this week to Forest Service Chief Abigail Kimbell that the more than 1.5 million acres of pine trees killed by beetles in Colorado are a huge wildfire risk.
State and federal foresters are expected to release a new aerial survey of damaged trees soon.
Ritter says he realizes much of the federal money will likely go to California for ongoing wildfire problems.
Evan Dreyer, Ritter’s spokesman, says the governor hopes Colorado will receive at least $12 million.
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