Feb 8, 2010 6:25 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Colorado getting $30 million for bark-beetle epidemic

U.S. Forest Service officials in Colorado are getting $30 million to deal with the aftermath of the bark-beetle epidemic that have killed about 3.6 million pine trees in the state and southern Wyoming.

U.S. Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet said Monday the funds are a sign federal officials recognize how severe the bark-beetle problem has become since the infestation started more than a decade ago. Udall calls it "one of the West's biggest natural disasters."

The funding Colorado is getting is part of $40 million that federal officials have allocated to deal with the infestation. Wyoming, South Dakota, Kansas and Nebraska are getting $10 million.

Udall says he wants the money to address wildfire threats, erosion on waterways, and safety risks associated with falling trees.


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