1:13pm

Wed April 6, 2011
Bark Beetle Mitigation

Colorado Representatives Want Unused Money for Beetle Mitigation

Republican 3rd District Congressman Scott Tipton is urging the U.S. Forest Service to use any unspent funds from the 2010 budget on mitigating the bark beetle epidemic in Colorado.

The tiny bark beetle has destroyed or damaged more than 41 million acres of pine forest in the West including 2.9 million acres in Colorado. Tipton and five other members of Colorado’s congressional delegation (Jared Polis-D, Cory Gardner-R, Dianna DeGette-D, Ed Perlmutter-D, and Doug Lamborn-R) have sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack calling the beetle epidemic a “national emergency” – adding that that swift action is essential to protecting public safety and infrastructure. $40 million was allocated for hazard mitigation in the fiscal year 2010 budget.

Tipton has scheduled a meeting next week with Forest Service Chief, Tom Tidwell, to discuss just how much of that money is left over and if it can be used to move forward with the request.