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Posted Thu Jan 8 2009: from Christian Science Monitor:
As beetle invasion rages, a debate over logs
Tromping through a snowy thicket of lodgepole pine, forester Tim Love identifies the telltale signs that the trees are, in his words, "dead already but don't know it."... These are the visible scars of massive beetle destruction that now stretches from Colorado to British Columbia. Soon, wind will likely finish off the pockmarked lodgepoles, sending them crashing to the forest floor, says Mr. Love, a district ranger in the Lolo National Forest in Montana. That's a fire hazard headache for the forest service -- and, some say, a missed opportunity.... An estimated 2.4 million acres across five northern US states show visible signs of trees killed by the beetles, according to data from Gregg DeNitto with the US Forest Service in Missoula.
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