Colo. GOP’s beetle-kill timber bill questioned

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Colorado Republicans want to eliminate local restrictions they say stifle the sale of beetle-killed timber. But groups representing local governments say there are no such restrictions.

That’s calling into question the validity of one of the centerpieces of the GOP’s jobs package this year. Republican Speaker of the House Frank McNulty used his speech to start the session to highlight a Montrose business he says exports most of its beetle-kill lumber because state regulations prevent its use.

The Colorado Municipal League and Colorado Counties Inc. say those regulations don’t exist and that the challenge is establishing what is a complex market.

Republican bill sponsor Rep. Laura Bradford says there’s a perception that roadblocks exist. She says that perception can be just as onerous.

A hearing on Bradford’s proposal was delayed this week.