Pine-beetle-killed trees aren't a pretty sight no matter what Texans say

Driving through Montana last week, I saw worrisome splotches of red in the thick stands of trees on some hillsides -- not the fires of dry summers past, but the first signs that the pine beetles that have plagued Colorado are moving north. Heading south through Wyoming into Colorado, those splotches turned into entire mountains of dying trees.

Which reminded me of this I-swear-it's-true story: A friend was showing some Texans around Summit County, which has been hit hard by pine beetles, and the wife kept exclaiming about the beautiful scenery.

"And those red trees -- I think they're the prettiest of all," she pronounced.

I was reminded of that story, and the sad sight of the spread of the pine beetle infestation, by Bruce Finley's excellent, if wonky, Denver Post story on sawmills processing the lumber from beetle-killed lodgepole pines from 4 million acres in Colorado and Wyoming. Read it here.

More from our Calhoun: Wake-Up Call archive: "Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons plant could be a parkway or a bikeway -- way to glow!"

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Robert Chase
Robert Chase

The speaker may have seen so few trees in her life that any, red; dead; or otherwise, seem attractive.  Colorado might benefit from a program to give West Texans a tour of more suitable wooded regions before they visit Colorado; say Mississipi or Alabama.

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