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Best of the West: Beetles assault Colorado forests, storm emergency in California, watch lava flow timelapse

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The Western Governors' Association keeps you updated on news of the West. Here are the western stories for the week starting Jan. 23, 2017, that you don't want to miss.

Lava FlowWatch this Lava Flow TimelapseColorado Forests Under Assault: Tree-killing spruce beetles are spreading northward through Colorado’s forests, infesting another 136,000 acres this past year and worsening damage across 1.7 million acres. Learn more.

State of Emergency: In the wake of two weeks of winter storms, which have dumped a record 20½ feet of snow on Mammoth Mountain in January,  Gov. Jerry Brown this week declared a state of emergency for Sacramento and 49 other Northern California counties, making them eligible for money to fix roads and make other repairs.

And The Center is ... : The town of Rugby, N.D., has called itself the “Geographical Center of North America” since 1931. That claim was recently challenged by the citizens in Robinson, N.D. A geography professor, who has a new method for calculating geographic centers, has just weighed in and you'll never believe the town that he says is in the center.

Elk Rising: State and federal biologists in Montana reported this week that elk numbers in the northern part of Yellowstone National Park and adjacent areas in Montana have stabilized. The 5,349 elk counted are a 9% increase over 2016 and the highest number since 2010. Learn what this means for the population.

Go with the (Lava) Flow: We leave you this week with a view of Hawaii you've never seen before: a time-lapse of the lava flow from the Kilauea volcano by Jack Fusco. The three-minute video is as adazzling as it is mesmerizing. Mahalo!

See last week's Best of the West

The fourth workshop of the Western Governors' National Forest and Rangeland Management Initiative was held Jan 23-24, 2017, in Bend, Oregon. Gov. Kate Brown spoke at the workshop, the latest in a series for the Chairman's initiative of Montana Gov. Steve Bullock.

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