Anyone who has driven to Colorado mountains in recent years has been greeted by thousands of dead and dying lodgepole pines turned dry and brown from the insidious beetle infestation.
While some beetle-kill pine has found it way into decorate touches in homes, furnitures or wood-burning pellets, Denver-based New Town Builders thinks it has the biggest use yet for them – lumber for framing its homes.
Gene Myers, the head of the environmentally friendly company, hopes other builders follow suit and use the Colorado lumber, instead of importing it from Canada or elsewhere. Not only is it a good use for the trees that cause environmental problem and can lead to costly and deadly fires, but it will create many jobs, he said.
“New Town Builders should be applauded for using bark-beetle-kill lumber as we will continue to encourage more use of this Colorado resource,” said Gov. John Hickenlooper.
Paul Hyber, chairman, National Lumber & Building Material Dealers Association, said that the use of “beetle-kill pine lumber in this New Town housing development is a significant step forward in demonstrating a viable use for the damaged timber in Colorado Mountains and Forests. It’s also an example of the cooperation that is needed between the U.S. Forest Service and other Federal Agencies with the state and private industry to get the timber out of the mountains and to the market where it can provide a valuable use in construction, home improvement, and in the production of green energy.”
Don Kennedy, an environmental scientist with Denver Water, said New Town’s efforts should “protect the quality of water for millions of Coloradans.” That is because when large numbers of the diseases trees collapse, they can pollute the water supply.
New Town was advised by Choose Outdoors Inc.
“The outdoor recreation community is feeling the impact of the mountain pine beetle at campgrounds, trails, ski areas …. virtually every outdoor activity faces the ramifications of this natural disaster,” said Bruce Ward, founder and senior adviser of Choose Outdoors. “That’s why we are so engaged with the efforts to utilize the Rocky Mountain Blue Stained Pine. For New Town Builders to step forward at this critical time is key to our combined efforts to educate the public about this catastrophe and to find creative ways to deal with it. We want future generations to have the same great outdoor opportunities that we have had.”
Rosalie Bianco, said that when she launched a company called New Earth Pellets to turn beetle-kill wood “into a viable and local replacement for fossil fuels, we hoped that numerous other entrepreneurs would contribute their own creative applications for the use of this problematic yet usable domestic natural resource. We are excited to hear that New Town Builders is using the lumber for the vertical studs in all its new homes.”
For more on this issue, please visit InsideRealEstateNews.com