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The Last Stand: Part 5

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Aspens are the dominant species at the Red Creek subdivision in North Routt County, where mature lodgepoles were thinned. Photo by Matt Stensland

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Doug Allen, vice president of mountain operations for Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., vividly remembers the Oct. 24, 1997, blowdown that ignited the local spruce beetle boom. Photo by Matt Stensland

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Healthy spruce trees near the Flat Tops Wilderness Area slowly are growing tall enough to reach the tops of the dead spruce, which have remained standing for 50 years because of their strong root systems. Photo by Matt Stensland

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A dead spruce tree is surrounded by healthy trees near the Flat Tops Wilderness Area. Photo by Matt Stensland

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North Routt County resident Charlie Cammer looks up the stairs in his home, which he built at his wife's request using beetle-killed, blue-stain lodgepole pine. Photo by Matt Stensland

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The birth of a lodgepole pine stand is under way at Charlie Cammer's property, where saplings stand just a few inches tall. Photo by Matt Stensland

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John Anarella, a Yampa-based wilderness ranger, looks over the Sheriff Reservoir into the Flat Tops Wilderness Area. On the spillway is what Anarella guessed is the remains of a spruce tree that was killed during the spruce beetle epidemic 50 years ago. Photo by Matt Stensland

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John Anarella examines what remains of the spruce trees that were killed during the spruce beetle epidemic in the Flat Tops Wilderness Area 50 years ago. Photo by Matt Stensland

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Colorado State Forest Service forester John Twitchell, left, and North Routt County resident Dave Hessel prepare to survey beetle-infected trees in the Willow Creek Pass subdivision. Photo by Matt Stensland

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North Routt County resident Charlie Cammer built his home at his wife's request using lodgepole pine. Photo by Matt Stensland

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Aspens are the dominant species at the Red Creek subdivision in North Routt County, which was thinned of many of its mature lodgepole pine trees. Photo by Matt Stensland

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Charlie Cammer said using the wood to build his barn was part of the grieving process of losing his pines. Photo by Matt Stensland

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Charlie Cammer built his wife Barb a bookcase out of blue-stain wood. Photo by Matt Stensland

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The sign marking the beginning of the Routt National Forest on Gore Pass is surrounded with beetle-killed trees. Photo by Matt Stensland

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Dead lodgepole pines glow in the moonlight in North Routt County. Photo by Matt Stensland

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A lodgepole pine sapling grows in North Routt County. Photo by Matt Stensland

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Dead spruce trees killed by the spruce beetle 50 years ago litter the forest floor surrounding John Anarella near Flat Tops Wilderness Area. Photo by Matt Stensland

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