Timber

 

One of the noticeable impacts from climate change seen in Gunnison County and western Colorado is the expansion of the spruce beetle and subsequent decline and death of hundreds of thousands of acres of spruce forest. Recent science reveals that the beetle outbreak is attributable to a combination of warming climate and drought. Unfortunately, the Forest Service and BLM are responding through a misdirected policy that encourages massive amounts of logging and road building to support a failing timber industry. HCCA is not opposed to timber management that focuses on human infrastructure and safety hazards, but logging hundreds of thousands of acres in a futile attempt to halt the expansion of the spruce beetle is not good policy and is not based on sound science. Both the Forest Service and BLM are pursuing an aggressive policy of intrusive timber management and large-scale logging. This results in excessive road building, industrial logging in remote and wild areas of the forest, and direct impacts to wildlife and watershed health. Perhaps most alarming is that the policy compromises our ability to secure expanded wilderness and wildlands protection for large areas that the agencies deem necessary for access and treatment. We continue to ensure that the Forest Service and BLM possess and use the best available science, implement proper monitoring, comply with federal environmental laws, and that any actions taken do not worsen our forest’s resiliency.