USA — U.S. Sen. 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 andWyoming, and Udall says he’s growing more concerned about the possibility of a wildfire igniting beetle-killed trees.
In October, the Colorado Democrat 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 Friday to U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell asking for an accounting of agency funds for fire suppression and funds that may be redirected for beetle mitigation.
Udall said Saturday it’s more expensive to fight a fire than prevent one.