Foresters and landscape architects to select tree from White River National Forest
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — For only the third time on record, Colorado will provide next year’s U.S. Capitol Christmas tree, according to U.S. senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet and Congressman Scott Tipton, who announced this week that the 2012 tree will come from the White River National Forest, near Meeker.
The selection will give the state some publicity, drawing attention to its abundant natural resources, as well as threats to those resources, including global warming and insect infestations, Udall and Tipton said.
“I want to thank Choose Outdoors and the other private and non-profit partners, as well as the U.S. Forest Service employees in Colorado, whose hard work will allow us to share a piece of our state’s glorious natural landscape with the rest of the country,” Udall said in a press release.
“I am so proud that Colorado will get this opportunity to highlight our wonderful forests, as well as the importance of protecting them from threats they face, including the bark beetle infestation that is devastating forests across the West.”
The U.S. Forest Service will work with local officials pick candidate trees, from which the U.S. Capitol Landscape Architect will make the final pick. The decision will be kept secret until the tree is cut. Then it will go on tour with events around Colorado before finally making its way to Washington, D.C. Schoolchildren from across the state will get the chance to make ornaments to be displayed on the tree at the U.S. Capitol in December 2012.
“Colorado is home to tremendous natural beauty unlike any other state in the Union,” Bennet said. “In 2012, our natural beauty will be on display at our nation’s Capitol for the entire country to see. We owe a huge thanks to the people of the U.S. Forest Service in Region 2, who work day in and day out to preserve and protect Colorado’s forest health, and whose tremendous efforts made this possible.”
“We are proud to be providing a piece of some of the most beautiful forest in the country to stand tall in Washington as our national tree next year,” Tipton said. ”This tree (will be) a symbol of Colorado’s unique beauty, and a reminder of the importance of our forests and natural areas to our state and to the country. I want to thank the U.S. Forest Service and their non-profit partners for their work on this, and for their continued efforts to ensure that our forests are sustainable and healthy for future generations.”
Colorado has provided the Capitol Christmas Tree twice before since the Forest Service started providing the trees in 1970: an Engelmann Spruce from Routt National Forest in 1990 and a Colorado Blue Spruce from Pike National Forest in 2000.
Filed under: Colorado, Forest health, forests, Summit County news, US Forest Service, White River National Forest Tagged: | Christmas, Colorado, forests, U.S. Capitol Christmas tree, White River National Forest