Much remains to remove dead trees in southern Wyoming

Dead tree removal, WyomingFOXPARK — Beetle-killed timber has been moving out of Wyoming and Colorado national forests by the truckload, the result of tens of millions of dollars in funding and a focused effort to keep three forests safe and open for recreation.

Contractors have removed beetle-killed trees from along more than 420 miles of roads and trails in the forests this year, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

They’ve also cleared dead pine trees from more than 20 square miles of forest near homes and buildings, and out of 357 campgrounds and other recreation sites.

The goal is to lessen the danger of falling trees while making it easier for firefighters to protect structures during wildfires.

The work will continue until there’s too much snow on the ground, although some snow can help shield forest undergrowth during operations, said Larry Sandoval, a district ranger in Medicine Bow National forest in southern Wyoming.

“The intent is to keep the national forest open for business to the public,” Sandoval said. “The quicker we get it done, the more quickly the roads and trails are going to be safe.

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