More Trees Than Ever are Standing Dead in Colorado Forests
Denver Post (February 15, 2017)

Annual survey estimates there are 834 million standing-dead trees, state threatening watersheds and worsening risk of ruinous fires

One in 14 trees are dead in Colorado forests and the number of gray-brown standing-dead trees has increased 30 percent since 2010 to 834 million, the state’s annual survey has found.

The dying trees — largely the result of insect infestations — can lead to large intense wildfires, such as the Beaver Creek fire in 2016 that burned 38,000 acres northwest of Walden, Colorado State Forest Service officials said Tuesday as they unveiled the report.

They’re planning to warn state lawmakers that unhealthy forests and wildfires increasingly will affect people and water supplies. On Tuesday, they distributed copies of their Report on the Health of Colorado’s Forests in the state capitol. A Joint Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee hearing they hoped to attend was canceled.

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