A craftsman makes the best of the pine beetle infestation

Publication: Green Source – The Magazine of Sustainable Design
Date: June 2012
Author: David Sokol

When Steven Rundquist moved from Brewster, Massachusetts, to Bellvue, Colorado, in 1998, he geared his timber framing company to new residential construction in this area north of Boulder, instead of preserving the centuries-old homes he encountered on Cape Cod. Although Rundquist would look to the same historic precedents in this next chapter of his business, the materials at his disposal were not quite the same. Around 2005 he started hearing about a burgeoning of mountain pine beetles in the area. Five years ago he began seeing the ravages firsthand.

“At that time I was working on a timber frame project in Steamboat Springs, commuting from Bellvue to Steamboat by going up Poudre Canyon and over Cameron Pass. The west-facing hillsides had as much as 60 percent loss of Lodgepole pine. Soon trees were dying on the east side of Cameron Pass. Now it’s starting to show up in the lowest foothills where my home is located.”

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