GIRDWOOD, Alaska — The Spruce Bark Beetle is only a quarter of an inch long, but the damage this insect causes is very obvious.
The Bird Creek campground off Mile 101 on the Seward Highway has been closed since 2010.
The beetle ravaged so many trees on the grounds, officials determined it was unsafe for campers because falling limbs posed a hazard.
"Some of the trees, the ones the beetle may have killed off, exposes the healthy trees that are more susceptible to wind, and a chance for those healthy trees to fall over," said Department of Natural Resources Engineer Jacob Gondek.
The project will cost $1.3 million, and DNR officials are using state and federal funds to help clear the old trees, plant new ones and resurface the tent pads.
"We're cutting down some of the trees, limbing them, putting them at 8 foot sections and putting them at one end of the campground for the public to take and use," said Project Manager Jake Vesotski.