Private landowners and public land managers soon will be able to use a novel type of straw made from beetle-kill Colorado pines to help reduce erosion and flooding after wildfires.

Rogue Resources Inc., a Steamboat Springs-based forest products business, is now manufacturing WoodStraw Erosion Control Mulch to reduce erosion and runoff in burn areas, thanks to financial support from the Colorado State Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture and The Conservation Fund’s ShadeFund. The business is turning beetle-kill lodgepole pines into an environmentally friendly, cost-effective erosion mitigation product. The venture also provides jobs in Routt County, and helps reduce wildfire risk through the removal of standing dead fuel.

“Thanks to the Colorado State Forest Service and their lending partners, our company was able to obtain the necessary funding to establish Colorado’s first manufacturing facility to produce our product,” said Trent Jones, controller for Rogue Resources. “The loan we received also helped our company to successfully compete and recently be awarded a working capital grant from USDA Rural Development.”

Recently burned areas with erosion concerns, such as the High Park and Waldo Canyon sites, as well as areas that will be impacted by future wildfires, soon could benefit from the application of this product.

From Colorado State Forest Service: