By Matt Kroschel

GRAND COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– When sawmill owner Lindsey Hester looks across her sprawling property she sees piles of unused potential profit.

The sawmill uses beetle-kill pine trees to make usable wood products for building. They take the leftover scraps and create wood chips for bio plants to burn. But what about using wood chips for icy roads to give drivers better traction?

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Wood chips are already being used in parts of Europe and now at least one town in Canada is testing the concept on their roads.

CBS4 alerted Colorado Department of Transportation to the idea, something they are now committed to researching further and possible benefits for Colorado roadways.

Currently chemicals, gravel and sand are the go to weapons road crews rely on to help keep highways clear.

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Hester says they would be more happy to supply the state with wood chips.

“If something new came up that we could sell this for, definitely available,” Heater said.

Video from Canada shows the chips in action.

There are benefits to using wood chips, the chips will biodegrade over time and it could be more cost effective if it helps clear beetle-kill pine clogging the forests in Colorado.

Matt Kroschel covers news throughout Colorado working from the CBS4 Mountain Newsroom. Send story ideas to and connect with him on Twitter @Matt_Kroschel.