Bugged over timber
Colorado Sen. Mark Udall is right to push the U.S. Forest Service and the Department of Agriculture to solidify contracts with Colorado timber companies to cut beetle-killed timber in much of the state.
The action is necessary, not because it will create jobs in Colorado, although it surely will do that, but because it will help reduce wildfire danger in mountain regions of the state.
Discussions about removing trees killed as a result of bug infestations — at least in areas where they present the greatest danger to the public — have been occurring locally and in Washington for more than a decade. Some work has taken place, but not nearly to the extent needed.
It’s time to get on with it, and firming up long-term contracts with Colorado timber companies is an excellent way to begin.