Some people can find the good in anything, even a pine beetle infestation that is killing trees in Colorado and Wyoming at alarming rates.
Designer Drew Witmer, for example, has designed and built Jiberish, a Denver clothing store, which utilizes the diseased dead wood in very dynamic ways. He constructed the store’s fixtures from locally harvested Colorado Mountain Pine Beetle (MPB) lumber, which has a unique blue gray striping left by a non-toxic fungus carried on the beetle’s legs. “The final product,” he notes, “is a fixture that is not only beautiful but also very sustainable. I am making it my mission to promote the use of this resource locally and have several furniture designs in the works.”
The impact of the beetle kill has been so profound that businesses, entrepreneurs, craftspeople of all types and private citizens have joined together to form the Beetle Kill Trade Association. Its goal – to create jobs and tax revenues from the epidemic by turning “the devastation of a state resource into a boon of economic development.”
Really? How does that work? Start by using the dead and dying trees as a raw material for new products. As reported by a local news source, “it’s hard to find beauty in all that destruction, but one business in Breckenridge is trying to do just that by showcasing many of the good things to come out of all the dead lumber."
Interior decorators at Full Circle Design: “have just opened a showroom for the Colorado Beetle Kill Trade Association. Placed throughout the office are products from 20 different vendors that…show how wood from trees killed by bark beetle can be used to decorate a person’s home…desks, tables, doors, frames, floors, even the kitchen sink.”
“…it gives designers a new tool to decorate with wood that they say is as sturdy as similar types of wood…the best part is that all the work uses recycled dead trees, which is turning red, dead forest into something truly green.”