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Aerial survey shows beetle infestation spreading

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 6, 2013 at 6:04 pm •  Published: February 6, 2013

Beetle activity has increased as trees have been stressed by factors including dense stands of trees, ongoing drought, and warmer winters that haven't been killing off as many insects.

Interim state forester Joe Duda said active forest management to reduce stands of weakened trees, along with a vibrant forest products industry that can use the wood from forest thinning operations, are needed to help reduce risks of massive wildfires blazing through stressed trees.

Late last year, the Colorado companies Confluence Energy and West Range Reclamation won 10-year stewardship contracts to thin national forests in Wyoming and Colorado. At least some of the wood was expected to go toward heating homes. Companies also have stewardship contracts in the Front Range and Pagosa Springs areas.