Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In


Press Releases

Choose Outdoors and Senator Mark Udall team up against Beetle

Choose Outdoors Leads Campaign to Increase Support for Mountain Pine Beetle Mitigation, Senator Mark Udall Speaks at press Conference focused on beetle kill, or Rocky Mountain Blue Stain, wood utilization

Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.

Choose Outdoors Leads Campaign to Increase Support for Mountain Pine Beetle Mitigation

DENVER (Sept. 27, 2011) – Choose Outdoors, at the request of Undersecretary of Agriculture Harris Sherman and in cooperation with the US Forest Service, is leading a campaign to increase awareness and support for the catastrophic mountain pine beetle epidemic in the West.

The next critical step in this campaign is unfolding with New Town Builders, Denver’s leader in the design and construction of energy efficient homes. They are pledging to use lumber from trees affected by the recent pine-beetle infestation.

According to Choose Outdoors President, Jeff Olson, “Choose Outdoors seeks to serve as a national catalyst to create a greater level of engagement, from grassroots volunteerism to increased federal agency support to deal with this unprecedented epidemic. We believe that for this project that the stakeholders must develop an effective and science based approach to ensure that future generations will have the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors in the same way we have been so fortunate to experience it. Through this type of collaborative engagement, Choose Outdoors believes that the economic and environmental challenges posed by the pine beetle can be addressed and create a win-win solution for Colorado and America’s public lands”.

This Rocky Mountain Blue Stained Pine, used previously by artisans in some decorative applications, also carries a structural-grade stamp of approval for use as a vertical stud in building frames. Thanks largely to the counsel and recommendation of Choose Outdoors, New Town Builders is the first production home builder in Colorado to order delivery of Blue Stained Pine in mass quantities for use in framing homes.

“The lumber is available in increasing quantities, more than adequate in this application, and we get to perform a service to the state that benefits the environment,” said New Town Builders Chief Executive Officer Gene Myers. “On behalf of the homebuyers who find themselves attracted to the New Town Builders’ values, this was an easy decision.”

He noted that the switch to Blue Stained Pine will help create jobs in Colorado, prop up the struggling lumber industry in the state, and perhaps most importantly, help reduce the threat of forest fire that looms in the 3 million-plus acres of Colorado’s devastated timber.

“Finding productive uses for these trees has been a priority for the state,” said Gov. John Hickenlooper. “In so doing, we can help restore forest ecosystems, reduce wildfire threats, and protect watersheds — all while promoting jobs and local economies. New Town Builders should be applauded for using bark-beetle-kill lumber as we will continue to encourage more use of this Colorado resource.”

The lumber is graded by the West Coast Lumber Inspection Bureau to ensure strength and durability that meets construction standards. New Town Builders’ initiative in the use of Blue Stained Pine is consistent with the lead it has taken in other homebuilding issues. New Town Builders was the first production home builder in the Denver area to offer solar energy systems standard on all new homes; and New Town Builders recently announced that it is building Colorado’s first net-zero-energy home to be offered as a standard package.

Said Myers, “We hope other homebuilders in Colorado will study our transition to Blue Stained Pine, realize how beneficial it is to everyone, and join us in putting this beautiful and stout lumber to good use.”

Choose Outdoors founder and senior adviser Bruce Ward reinforced, “It is up to all of us who love the great outdoors to find a way to help. Utilizing the wood, helping with mitigation and volunteering are all critical ways we can all pitch in. New Town’s leadership is just what we need to increase the public’s awareness of this critical issue.”

About Choose Outdoors
Choose Outdoors, is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting outdoor recreation and active lifestyles through support for public lands and waters; recreation infrastructure; and programs connecting Americans to the outdoors. Recently, responding to a request by Undersecretary of Agriculture Harris Sherman, Choose Outdoors has begun to develop ways to increase public awareness about the mountain pine beetle epidemic and the impact it has had on forest health as well as to encourage private sector engagement in promoting the use of beetle killed wood and assisting with mitigation efforts. For more information about Choose Outdoors visit

About New Town Builders
New Town Builders has been creating original homes in the Denver area since 2001, with an emphasis on energy efficiency, sustainability and neo-classical designs that recall an era when houses truly felt like homes. On the outside, liveable porches and designer colors lend a distinctive appearance to New Town homes; while on the inside, technology and smart design allows New Town Builders to “future-proof” its homes. All New Town homes receive the Energy Star Efficiency Rating, and New Town is a member of the Metro Denver Home Builders Association. They offer homes in the Colorado neighborhoods of Stapleton (Denver), Tallyn’s Reach (Aurora) and Bradburn Village (Westminster). For more information go to or call 303-707-4444.