Udall Seeks Money for Bark Beetle Mitigation
Democratic Senator Mark Udall is urging federal officials to fund efforts to mitigate the effects of bark beetles in Colorado and other western states.
Bark beetles have killed 4 million acres of forests in Colorado and Wyoming, and Udall says he's growing more concerned about the possibility of a wildfire igniting beetle-killed trees. Last October, Udall and senators from other western states asked the federal government to redirect $49 million in unspent money to remove beetle-killed trees. That request hasn't been acted on yet. Udall sent a letter to U.S. Forest Service Chief tom Tidwell on Friday asking for an accounting of agency funds for fire suppression and funds that may be redirected for beetle mitigation.
Udall say he is especially concerned given the early start to this year’s fire season and that so far this March has been one of the driest on record in Colorado. Udall added that it's more expensive to fight a fire than prevent one.