DELTA, Colo. (AP) – U.S. Sen. Mark Udall says a proposal in Congress calling for the devaluation of pine-beetle-killed trees could allow area mills to compete for the timber.

According to the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, timber mill operators told Udall that federally funded timber contracts have created unfair competition and have taken away guaranteed sources of logs from the state’s struggling timber mills.

Udall toured a Delta timber mill on Tuesday after he persuaded the U.S. Forest Service to renegotiate timber sale contracts in an effort to save sawmills in the Rocky Mountain region.

Udall says the sawmills need help after they were hit hard by bark beetle infestations, the recession and financially unviable agreements.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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