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Colorado's "Gem of the Rockies" Suffers Beetle Epidemic

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A tiny, picturesque tourist town in southwestern Colorado nestled between big-time ski destinations like Silverton and Telluride is in the midst of a beetle epidemic. Ouray has long been known as the "Gem of the Rockies," with gorgeous views for miles and an ice-climbing scene that's second to none. But now the town sits within what the San Juan Independent calls "a crucible of dead and dying beetle-ridden trees." Experts believe that by the time the epidemic runs its course over the next ten years, almost all of the white fir trees around Ouray will be dead.

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