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Applauding local government

Dear Editor:

I want to applaud the Aspen City Council and Pitkin County commissioners for approving their staff’s plan to protect the pine trees in the Smuggler Mountain Open Space from the ravages of the mountain pine beetle epidemic. This pilot program stands an excellent chance of saving the green pine forest in one of our best-used “backyard” recreation areas.

While success can never be guaranteed for silvicultural efforts like this one, scientific studies have demonstrated that verbenone (the natural beetle pheromone), when combined with the timely removal of infested brood trees, can save a healthy local forest from total destruction by the pine beetle. If this forest conservation effort is successful, many thousands of locals and visitors will enjoy a healthy green forest for decades to come.

The open space staffs of Aspen and Pitkin County, who worked many long hours to produce the current plan, deserve our community’s thanks. They’ve done a great job!

John Bennett

executive director, For The Forest


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