Beetle symposium set for Thursday |

Beetle symposium set for Thursday

Dear Editor:I would like to invite any and all who are interested in the health of our forests to the Hotel Jerome Ballroom between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Thursday. The event is free and open to the public. The afternoon and evening features Gov. Bill Ritter, top leadership from the White River National Forest, one of America’s foremost entomologists analyzing preliminary results from the beetle mitigation work that occurred on Smuggler Mountain earlier this year and more information about what homeowners can do to protect trees in their back yards.Our symposium, Place-Based Strategies: The Pine Beetle & Forest Health, begins with innovative forest stewardship efforts at the local level in Canada, plus an overview of the broader, forest-wide work that’s being done to our north. As an example, the province of Alberta is spending close to $200 million to slow the pine beetle’s advance.At 2 p.m., White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams will lead a panel discussion about the problem in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain region. Representatives from Estes Park, Boulder and Woodland Park will share the work that is under way in their communities that might be applied elsewhere. The afternoon session ends with “So what can a land owner do?” – a half-hour of information on what works.At 5:15, our keynote speaker, Gov. Bill Ritter, will kick off the evening session, which includes USFS Rocky Mountain Regional Forester Rick Cables providing the agency’s perspective, and Dr. Nancy Gillette sharing the preliminary results from the Smuggler Mountain Open Space Project.Please feel free to drop in when you can throughout the day. We realize this is a busy time of year, but you are welcome to join us for all or part of the symposium, whatever suits your schedule. Register for free at Bennettexecutive directorFor The Forest

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