Dec 8, 2009 11:28 AM by Associated Press

Feds announce $40 million to battle bark beetles

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the U.S. Forest Service is funneling an additional $40 million to Rocky Mountain states to address the effects of a bark beetle infestation that has killed millions of acres of trees.

Vilsack said Tuesday that the focus will be the most severely affected states: Colorado, Wyoming and South Dakota. Some of the money will be funds reallocated from regional Forest Service agencies and some is leftover stimulus dollars.

The tiny beetles that burrow under the bark of pine trees have killed more than 2.5 million acres of trees in Colorado and southeastern Wyoming.

The fear is the dead trees could fuel wildfires, create erosion problems and damage power lines and injure people when they fall.


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