Copter gathers beetle-infested trees outside Aspen

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Aspen, Colo. (AP) - A helicopter has hauled more than 200 beetle-infested trees off Smuggler Mountain outside Aspen in a campaign to limit damage by the bug that has ruined millions of acres of western forests.

The trees were chopped down earlier, and on Thursday the helicopter hoisted them into the air and flew them to a collection point.

The $109,000 project includes spraying open space with an organic compound meant to fool beetles into believing the trees there have already been infested.

The project is funded by the City of Aspen, surrounding Pitkin County and the nonprofit group For The Forest.

The U.S. Forest Service estimates that 2.5 million acres of trees in Colorado and southern Wyoming are dead or dying because of the beetle infestation.

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