When driving, hiking or biking around Vail, Beaver Creek, Arrowhead or Bachelor Gulch (yes, everywhere) you cannot help but see the changes in the lodgepole trees. Changes not from the fall foliage changes, but from alive to not-so-alive. Yes the pine-beetle issues are causing the landscape to certainly have a different look. Not to worry as plans are underway.
There are working crews that are part of the multi-year project called the Vail Valley Forest Health Plan working around the valley. Their mission is to remove dead and dying trees from the Vail Valley forests. Why? This is being done in an effort to reduce the severity of potential future wildfires.
In 2007, trees will be cut on 15 acres of town of Vail land and a whopping 174 acres of national forest. Work will take place above Vermont Court and Stephen Park in Intermountain. Helicopters will remove logs from both areas and haul them to local plants where they can be made into pellets for biomass energy. To find out more about Vail's and Colorado's plans for addressing the county wide pine beetle issues, you can call Vail's Pine Beetle Hotline at 477-3509.
To read about pine beetles, go here: http://www.vailgov.com/subpage.asp?page_id=695