Vail Mountain won’t inject its trees
VAIL, Colorado ” Vail Resorts has no plans to inject its resorts’ trees with chemicals to stave off pine beetles, the company said Monday.
Over the weekend, the Associated Press reported that Vail Resorts had hired Massachusetts-based Arborjet to inject lodgepole pines with emamectin benzoate at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone.
Vail Resorts spokeswoman Kelly Ladyga said that isn’t true, although an Arborjet executive did approach the company about two years ago about the injections.
“We said we’d listen to him but made no commitments,” Ladyga said.
The ski company then told Arborjet it was not interested in pursuing the injection treatment until the procedure had gotten approvals from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Forest Service, Ladyga said.
Vail Resorts hasn’t met with Arborjet recently, Ladyga said, adding that she didn’t know if or when another meeting with Arborjet would happen.
In Saturday’s Rocky Mountain News, Arborjet CEO Peter Wild said he’s still waiting on approvals from the EPA. Wild did not return a phone message left Monday.
The Forest Service ” which owns almost all of Vail and Beaver Creek mountains and would have to approve the injections on its property ” flatly says the injections are ineffective.
“We are willing to try anything that works, but this doesn’t work in our part of the world,” said Bill Kight, spokesman for the Forest Service.
The mountain pine beetle infestation has killed up to 90 percent of mature lodgepole pine in some areas near Vail.
Vail Mountain has cut more than 1,000 pine-beetle-infected trees over the last two years, said spokeswoman Jen Brown. Some of those trees posed danger to buildings or lifts if they had fallen, while others were aesthetically unpleasing, Brown said.
Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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.