Sick trees halt camping at Colorado park

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

WALDEN, Colo. ” Campers hoping to stay overnight at State Forest State Park in Walden for Memorial Day weekend will have to go elsewhere.

The park says its roughly 200 campsites are closed indefinitely due to fears that high winds could topple trees infested with mountain pine beetles.

Park manager Kent Minor says Colorado State Forest Service foresters recommended that the campsites be closed until trees that pose a safety hazard are removed. He says campgrounds will be assessed next week.

The park is still open to visitors during the day.

Meanwhile the U.S. Forest Service say 18 of 223 campgrounds, picnic areas and other recreation sites on national forests in northern Colorado and southeastern Wyoming have delayed openings this season, and two will be closed this summer due to the bark beetle epidemic.

The Forest Service estimates the bark beetle infestation has spread to more than 1.9 million acres in Colorado.

Walden is in northern Colorado, northeast of Steamboat Springs.